The North Carolina Tar Heels finished their 2016 season 8-5, good enough for second in the ACC Coastal. This comes a year after finishing 11-2 and having one of the greatest seasons in UNC football history. After that amazing season there was only a few significant losses: quarterback Marquise Williams, offensive lineman Landon Turner, and the program’s all-time leading receiver Quinshad Davis.
But, 2016 looked bright considering the hype surrounding Mitch Trubisky, Marquise Williams’ eventual replacement, as well as the amazing depth at wide receiver including: Ryan Switzer, Bug Howard, and Mack Hollins. Even though the season looked like it could be better than the last, the tough schedule and the lack of a consistent defense hurt this Heel’s season.
2017 is much different than 2016. The Heels lost some major contributors to the NFL: number 2 pick Mitch Trubisky, Ryan Switzer, Mack Hollins, Bug Howard, Elijah Hood, Naz Jones, TJ Logan, and many more. With most programs, these significant losses would usually lead to a complete overhaul of the program. But, Larry Fedora’s recruiting prowess has continued to grow as he landed his best class yet.
This class includes big names like Jake Lawler, Tre Shaw, CJ Cotman, Michael Carter, Jonah Melton. This comes in addition to the many 3-stars that have flown completely under the radar. Although Michael Carter has the best chance to be the next first round pick out of UNC, my top player from this class is Jake Lawler, for reasons like this:
Also, the defense remains almost completely intact after losing only 4 starters including: Naz Jones, Dez Lawrence, and Dominique Green. This means top players like Cole Holcomb, Andre Smith, Cayson Collins, the defense and almost everybody else from last year’s team will be returning.
In my eyes this will be one of the toughest years in the Larry Fedora era. However the defense remains almost completely intact, meaning for once, it has a chance to be the bright spot for this team, or at the least a decent, middle of the pack defense.
Although the offense is will be almost completely different, Larry Fedora is an offensive genius, and with a new weapon in LSU quarterback transfer Brandon Harris, he will still have one of the most explosive offenses in the country. This season has a chance to be a tough one but, UNC has a very easy schedule and is hosting almost all of their big games.
My prediction: 8-4