The Tar Heels signed their best recruiting class of the modern recruiting era on Wednesday afternoon as all seventeen of their commits signed as part of the nations No. 8 overall recruiting class according to 247Sports. On Friday, the Tar Heels turned their attention to the transfer portal as they landed former Miami offensive lineman Corey Gaynor after hosting him over the weekend for a visit. While that may have addressed the need for the Tar Heels at center, there are still plenty of areas where the Tar Heels should be looking for help in the transfer portal. Here is a look at the four spots that we think the team needs to address in the portal this offseason.
The defense has struggled to get consistent pressure on the quarterback from their defensive front under Jay Bateman and this year was the worst pass rushing season for the Tar Heels since 2017, as they had just 27.0 in the regular season. The edge rushers have been a big part of the reason for those struggles and with Tomon Fox now departing, the unit now has just two players, Kaimon Rucker and Chris Collins, that have recorded a sack in their career. The team desperately needs an impact player off the edge and they have already been looking. Former Virginia edge rusher Noah Taylor was on campus last weekend and former Albany edge rusher Jared Verse is another player that they are rumored to be talking to. There are a lot of really good options out there and there could still be more on the way so the Tar Heels have to find a way to add one this offseason.
This is the position group that the Tar Heels have been rumored to be most active in so far in the portal and for good reason. Outside of Josh Downs, this team doesn’t have a consistent receiving threat and with a likely quarterback change and no clear answers at outside receiver, they need to find someone that can make a difference. The team has already been rumored to be looking at many of the top names in the portal, but many big names are already off the board. There are still plenty of solid options out there, though, headlined by names like former Syracuse receiver Taj Harris and former Clemson receiver Frank Ladson. The Tar Heels need to add at least one transfer receiver in my opinion, preferably someone who can go up and win the 50/50 balls that the Tar Heels weren’t able to win this season.
The Tar Heels have had major issues with consistency at the safety position over the couple of seasons and the depth here is not that strong heading into the season either. The Tar Heels will return all but one of their safeties from this past season, but they could certainly have a more steady presence back there than they have had in the past couple of seasons. The biggest issue is the lack of experience names in the portal, but even adding someone like former Texas safety B.J. Foster and former Clemson safety Joseph Charleston. It can’t hurt to add someone here especially with the lack of depth that this unit has right now.
The Tar Heels addressed the interior of the offensive line with the addition of Gaynor, but they are still in need of an upgrade at tackle, especially with Jordan Tucker now moving on to the NFL after the bowl game. There are some good veteran options out there led by former Oklahoma tackle Brey Walker and former Virginia tackle Ryan Swoboda who would bring great track records and help to sure up an offensive line that simply has to be better than they were this season. This is not a position that the Tar Heels have been rumored to have ties with so far, but this is a spot where they would benefit adding to if they can get an experienced option to come in.