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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Lose True Freshman Pass Rusher to Portal


Peyton Williams- Getty Images

With Gene Chizik and Charlton Warren returning to Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels are staring down what could be a shift back to the 4-3 base defense, something that Chizik ran his first time in Chapel Hill. On Thursday night, just a few hours after being re-introduced to the media for their second stints with the program, the new staff has lost their first player to the transfer portal.


Just a short time ago, true freshman edge rusher Trevion Stevenson announced via social media his plans to enter the transfer. The first year freshman, who was a 3✮ outside linebacker in the 2021 class is coming off a year where he played just two snaps for the team on defense, but was possibly going to have a chance to earn a bigger role this offseason with the previous staff out of one of the edge rusher roles. However, with Jay Bateman and his position coach Jovan Dewitt gone and the switch in schemes, this is a move that shouldn’t really come as much of a shock.


This could be the beginning of a few moves like this from members of this current Tar Heel defense that could be caught up in the scheme change. The front seven will definitely be the area impacted this most heavily, but specifically, those edge rushers that were brought in to play stand-up edge rusher like Stevenson. This isn’t a major loss considering that he seemed like more a safety net at the position than anything in the last cycle once the team missed on one of their more highly ranked targets at the position, but don’t be shocked if this is the start of some of the tweener guys, who will either have to put their hand in the dirt or convert to a more traditional linebacker role, making tough decisions on their futures in Chapel Hill.


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