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Heel Tough Blog: Weekly Storylines- January 18th

It was an active second week of the offseason for the Tar Heels this past week that featured plenty of different storylines. While ones like Ty Chandler’s transfer commitment and the enrolling of twelve of the eighteen members of the 2021 early signing class stole the headlines, there were some others that flew under the radar a bit. We’re here to get you up to speed on those storylines you may have missed.

Robin Alam- Getty Images

Former OL Arthur Smith Gets First Head Coaching Job

The now former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator was offered and accepted the Atlanta Falcons head coaching job on Friday. The former Tar Heel offensive lineman wasn’t a major contributor for the Tar Heels in his time spent with the team from 2001 to 2005, but his coaching career did get started with the Tar Heels back in 2006, when he was a graduate assistant under head coach John Bunting. Following his season on the Tar Heel staff, Smith would handle quality control duties for the Washington Redskins and Ole Miss Rebels from 2007 through 2010, before he would land in Tennessee under Mike Munchak in 2011. Under Munchak, Smith handled defensive quality control duties once again before he would be elevated to assistant tight ends and offensive line coach ahead of the 2013 season. Although Munchak was fired after that season, Smith was retained by Ken Whisenhunt as an assistant tight ends coach until Mike Mularkey took over as head coach, leading to a promotion to tight ends coach. When Mularkey was replaced after just one year, Mike Vrabel also chose to keep him on the staff as a tight ends coach, but took over as the team’s offensive coordinator prior to the 2019 season after Matt LaFleur left for Green Bay. In his two seasons as the Titans offensive coordinator, Smith put together two of the franchise’s most successful offensive seasons and even guided the team to the AFC Championship Game in his first season. Now, just two years after taking his first coordinator job, he will get the chance to be a head coach.

@HayesFawcett3- Twitter

Tar Heels Make Top 12 for Daylen Everette

The Tar Heels got some positive recruiting news on Friday, when 2022 4✮ CB Daylen Everette announced his final twelve schools on social media. The Tar Heels remain in the running for the IMG Academy junior. Everette, who transferred to the national powerhouse from Norview, VA over the offseason after the state of Virginia moved their season to the spring, has the Tar Heels amongst a group that includes home-state Virginia Tech and Virginia and national powerhouses like Clemson and Alabama. The Tar Heels definitely have their work cut out for them in this battle, but cracking the top 12 is a nice start.

Two Former Defensive Backs Find New Homes

The Tar Heels have seen a sizable group of players from their secondary enter the transfer in the last few months and two of those players found their new destinations this week. Sixth year senior Patrice Rene entered his name in the portal back on January 8th and this past Wednesday he announced his transfer destination for his final season. Rene will head to New Brunswick, NJ to play for Greg Schiano and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, a team that he was committed to at one time in high school before eventually flipping to the Tar Heels. Fellow cornerback Bryce Watts, who never played a game in a Tar Heel uniform, announced his destination on Friday. He will head to the University of Massachusetts to play for head coach Walt Bell, joining a fellow former Tar Heel Bryson Richardson, who announced his transfer to play for the Minutemen back on December 9th.

Crimson Tide Photos- University of Alabama Atheltics

Former TE Carl Tucker Wins Title with Alabama

Tucker transferred to Alabama for the final season of his career last offseason and on Monday night it paid off with a national championship. Although Tucker only saw action in seven games this season, he was still part of a Crimson Tide team that won the national championship over the Ohio State Buckeyes in Miami on Monday night, the Crimson Tide’s 18 national title in program history. Tucker played the first four seasons of his college career in Chapel Hill with the Tar Heel, seeing action in 38 games, hauling in 36 career receptions for 549 yards and four touchdowns. On Sunday, Tucker announced that he would not be returning to the Crimson Tide in 2021, but will instead begin his pursuit of an NFL career this offseason.

@HayesFawcett3- Twitter

Tar Heels Left Out of Shawn Murphy’s Top School’s List

It wasn’t all good news for the Tar Heels on the recruiting trail this week, as the Tar Heel were left out of one of their 2022 target’s top schools list. 2022 5✮ ILB Shawn Murphy, another one of the top prospects in the state of Virginia, left the Tar Heels out of his final eight when he announced it via social media on Wednesday. This shouldn’t really come as too much of a shock, as from the outside, it didn’t really feel like the Tar Heels stood much of a chance anyways to land him and the team is already having plenty of success elsewhere in the state in the 2022 class, which is important to overall success of the class. The Tar Heel only other current offer at inside linebacker is in-state 4✮ Xavier Simmons, a player that should be a bit more sought after now that Murphy is officially off the table.


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