In his post-signing day press conference, Mack Brown told reporters that the Tar Heels were keeping some scholarships available for the possibility of adding a transfer at some point this offseason. Now, just a week and a half after signing day, it appears the team might have their first transfer target of the offseason.
Corey Bender of Gator Territory, a Rivals.com affiliate, reported on Sunday night that the Tar Heels were among the teams that had already been in contact with former Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Warren Thompson. Thompson, who entered his name into the transfer portal on Saturday, caught eleven passes for 195 yards and one touchdown in his three years in Tallahassee. His three seasons with the Seminoles were a bit crazy as he had noted discrepancies with both staffs that were in place during his time there. As reported by both Brendan Sonnone of Noles247 and Ira Schoffel of Warchant.com, Thompson was absent from the team in 2019 following a fallout with then-head coach Willie Taggart before returning to the team when new Head coach Mike Norvell arrived in the offseason. He reportedly wouldn’t wait long to express issues with the new staff, as he was one of a group of Seminoles to call into question the COVID-19 protocols that were in place at the university and even went as far as to remove himself from the team for a couple of days. He would return to the team one last time and would play in six games, before it was reported he would not be available for what would end up being the final game of the season against Duke for undisclosed reasons.
The Tar Heels are likely interested in Thompson because of the production that is slated to leave this receiving corps in the offseason. Junior Dyami Brown has already confirmed that he will not return next season after going over 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past two seasons and averaging 20.1 yards per reception in the past two seasons. Senior Dazz Newsome hasn’t officially declared his intentions, but the expectation with what the NFL Draft experts are saying is that he will enter at some point in the near future. If he does, that would leave the Tar Heels’ offense without their top two receivers from each of the past two seasons, both of which leave behind some of the biggest shoes in program history to fill.
Thompson has the talent to help fill some of the void that Brown leaves behind as a deep ball threat. The former 4✮ prospect in the 2018 class, has thrived the most as a deep threat in his college career, as he is averaging 17.7 per catch and seven of his eleven career catches have gone for ten or more yards. On the surface, his deep threat ability is probably the biggest reason that the team has expressed interest and would probably be willing to add him to the receiving corps.
The big question that the Tar Heels have to ask themselves with Thompson is whether or not the potential of the headaches he had at Florida State is worth the risk. The good news for the Tar Heels is there is plenty of young depth at wide receiver that would allow the Tar Heels to assume the risk if they wanted to. Will the staff determine it’s worth it, though?