Sunday may have been the craziest day off the field in the history of Tar Heel football. The team found out that they were heading to the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl to face Oregon in their bowl game, all amidst four players entering the transfer portal. Lost amongst the shuffle was the team losing the commitment of one of their two defensive linemen in the 2023 class.
Yesterday afternoon, 2023 3✮ DL Joshua Horton announced that he was flipping his commitment from the Tar Heel to ACC foe Miami via social media. This was a move that had been rumored to be on the horizon over the past couple of weeks and became even more apparent when Miami’s defensive line coach Joe Salave’a made an appearance on the sideline of his game on Friday. Mario Cristobal and the Hurricanes made a furious push for him late after a strong senior season at Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, GA and it has been rumored to be bolstered by NIL opportunities.
Horton’s loss is tough to stomach for a Tar Heel team that still has a ways to go along the defensive line. The good news is that they still have a commitment from a defensive lineman in the form of Joel Starlings, but this move combined with the loss of Rico Walker last month has leveled a blow to what was another strong class along the defensive front at one time. This is still a solid class that has some nice pieces in the front four, but the team doesn’t have a clear addition that will be able to help them at the power end position, where they still need to develop some depth.