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Heel Tough Blog: Two Tar Heels Join in Amari Gainer in Pursuing NFL Careers

Earlier this week, graduate senior Amari Gainer announced that he will be pursuing an NFL career following the conclusion of the Tar Heels season. On Friday, Tomari Fox and Spencer Rolland followed his lead, announcing via social media that they too will be pursuing a career at the next level. None of the three appear on any draft boards right now and probably won’t anytime soon, meaning that they have work to do if they want to land on a preseason roster.

Rolland came into the season appearing on some top 300 big boards, but that is no longer. In his two seasons with the Tar Heels, he allowed nine sacks and 67 total pressures, the sixth most pressure allowed in the FBS during that time and second most among Power 5 players. He has a lot to prove if he is going to land with an NFL team in training camp.

Gainer’s versatility is the reason that you could see him land somewhere during camp, but he will have to really impress in pre-draft workouts despite a solid final season at the college level in limited reps. He played just 267 snaps in his lone season in Chapel Hill, but finished with 27 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and eight total pressures. He is the guy that probably has the best chance to make it to a training camp this summer.

Fox had the best Tar Heel career of the three, but may have the most work to do of the trio. His first two seasons were very promising, including an outstanding 2020 where he had 46 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and 20 total pressures. In his final two seasons, which were split by 2022 where he was suspended, he combined for just 38 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and 27 total pressures. He will hope to get the same opportunity that his brother did, but needs a big pre-draft for that to happen.


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