Updated: Dec 12, 2022
The hits for the Tar Heels just seem to keep coming. After a stretch of some positive news with Drake Maye and Ladaeson DeAndre Hollins announcing their returns to Chapel Hill for next season, the team lost a commitment from a 4✮ prospect in the 2023 class earlier this afternoon. If that wasn’t bad enough, the team sustain another gut punch with the news just a short time again that they are losing their headliner of the 2021 recruiting class to the transfer portal.
According to a report from 247Sports’ Chris Hummer, former 5✮ defensive line prospect Keeshawn Silver has entered his name in the transfer portal with three years of eligibility after spending two seasons in Chapel Hill. Silver, the No. 31 overall prospect in the class according to 247Sports Composite rankings, played in just six games in his two seasons with the team, taking just 37 total snaps. He finishes his Tar Heel career with four total tackles and one quarterback pressure.
His departure is concerning from a recruiting standpoint, but it shouldn’t come as much of a shock. Silver was a player that was sort of the definition of the 3i-TECH defensive end that was such an important part of the Jay Bateman defensive scheme. The staff attempted to add more weight to his frame this offseason to allow him to factor in at defensive tackle and while he did play more, he was never able to climb the depth chart despite struggles from the guys in front of him. The Tar Heels are expected to bring back a majority of those players again next season and the addition of 2023 4✮ Joel Starlings will crowd that interior defensive line room a little more.
The depth along the defensive line remains strong, but the fact that the Tar Heels have lost back-to-back top recruits from two of the team’s last three classes is not something that can simply be pushed aside. Players are clearly frustrated with the current defensive staff that is in place and they have a right to be, especially when you look at the lack of success that the unit has had over the last two years.