A Way to Early Look at Roster Changes: UNC

Editor’s Note:  Since my previous article talked about UNC’s (probably) shady recruiting.  I figured a logical followup would be Richard Hefner’s (Pitt-Cocks Fan) writeup on their actual team.  Very data heavy for you numbers guys.  Enjoy & feel free to draw your own conclusions.


North Carolina

A Way to Early Look at Roster Changes


The object of this series of articles is to discuss & show the roster changes for the upcoming 2020 season. It will not be a player by player review.  These articles will review All ACC team player losses/returners, Transfer Portal activity & recruiting results. If there is time, I may circle back to teams after the spring practice Transfer Portal rush.

I will be using Rivals recruiting data but 24/7 transfer portal activity. I was not able to find a Rivals transfer database but did find a 24/7 site. https://247sports.com/Season/2020-Football/TransferPortal/

So, any star/points ranking related to the portal are 24/7’s not Rivals.

Note: The 24/7 data base I am using runs from 8/1/19 until 7/31/20. Players who left a team after that start time are included. A Player who transferred to a team are included even if they played during the 2019 season (Ex.-John Petrishen) or could be a walk on. On my own, I do not include any transfer portal entry who was not ranked coming out of H.S.  or was classified as a 2-star unless I can easily verify that he was a major contributor.

Let’s get started.

North Carolina is in the 2’nd year of Mack Brown’s 2’nd tenure at North Carolina. This is his first true recruiting class. The class was an excellent one. Rivals has their 25-man class ranked as the 16’th best. It included 9 4-stars including one Rivals top 50 and another 4 or 5 who made the Rivals top 250. Like Florida State, the Tarheels class averaged 3.28 stars which translate to a 3.62 3-star.


Per Rivals, below is the 25 recruits by position. Highlighted is the most/tied for that position in the ACC for 2020.


This is a snapshot of the last 5 years of recruiting:


For Tex, this is the number of 5.7’s and above for the last 4 recruiting periods.


North Carolina record over the last 5 seasons:


2015 11-1 Conference Championship loss, Bowl Loss 11-3

2016 8-4 Bowl loss 8-5, 2017 3/9, 2018 2/9 (game scheduled with UCF canceled due to hurricane.)  2019 6-6 Bowl win 7-6

At this time, North Carolina has not signed anyone off the portal.

North Carolina has 6 returning (covering 7 position) All ACC honorees:


Note: The Class shown is for the 2019 Season. For the 2020 season Jr. are now Seniors, So. are now Juniors.

Sam Howell is the jewel of the returning honorees. 3’rd team QB behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence & Virginia’s Bryce Perkins. He was a true freshman in 2019.

The above was a brief snapshot of who North Carolina added & returned for the upcoming 2020 season.

Who did they lose from the 2019 season?

North Carolina lost 4 All ACC honorees:


Looks like a hole to be filled in the interior of North Carolina’s defensive line. But they only recruited 1 DT in 2020. They did recruit 5 DE’s. Is the plan to have somebodies getting up & eating PB&J sandwiches twice a night?

North Carolina had no early entries to the NFL draft.

North Carolina has 9 players entering the “Transfer Portal”:


Just one of the 9 has found a P5 team to call his own. I regret not finding & tracking the portal activity for last year. It would be interesting to see the effect of new coaching hires & what ever is going on at Virginia Tech.

North Carolina’s future looks bright for the next two years. Howell at QB will keep the offense in the game. Will their defense improve enough to win the Coastal?

From Chris Peak’s Rivals site – Panther-lair


I didn’t do a review of Pitt but here is Chris Peak’s review of Pitt.




138 thoughts on “A Way to Early Look at Roster Changes: UNC

  1. I wholeheartedly welcome these analyses because, if nothing else, it alerts POVers what the Panthers will be up against. FB fans tend to focus on its own team (I know I do) without much consideration of what its opponents are doing. And of course, this year with much of Pitt’s 15th ranked defense returning, what can possibly go wrong?

    I believe these analyses of ACC opponents will enlighten us a bit, and that the prediction of a few analysts of Pitt 6.5 wins this year may not be that far fetched. I will still think Pitt can and should do better (remember, last year, it was 5.5), but it will certainly mot be easy.

    Great job Rich … and I can’t think of a better subject matter

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BTW, I just saw on the news that Harvard is predicting that sports may go crowdless for the next 2 years unless an effective vaccine is developed. So, Let’s Go Pitt!


      1. That is assuming they have outstanding testing, rapid, daily etc. Or they let everyone get infected now and let the chips fall where they may. Don’t think the coaches would go for that though. Especially the older ones.


          1. I would also think that players can’t play unless they have the antibody. Or else there would need to be daily temp checks and testing for every player. How do you social distance in a contact sport. And all it takes is a Alabama to not take it seriously and then every school they play becomes infected. Is anyone thinking about the players?



      2. I wouldn’t think crowdless. If the antigen test is successful and accurate, those fans with the antibody could return. What officials don’t know is if you can catch the virus again or have total immunity. I can also see social distancing being practiced. Every other seat seating. So stadiums at no more than 50 percent capacity. That also means no tarping. A crew of sanitation workers would need hired to constantly wipe and spray things down. Some more changes to the new normal. So I disagree with the ivey eggheads. It can be done.



  2. By the way this whole Mack Brown recruiting gone bigtime, is somewhat tainted. Much like the Johns Hopkins Corona sick map. (but that’s another story for another day)

    So the No. 1 recruit is a kid named Drake May. And all these sites are like freaking cause supposedly Brown flipped him from Alabama. Well in fact that is true, but if you dig a little you uncover the truth.

    Do some research (same as the Hopkins sick map) and you’ll see this was all a setup.

    Drake Maye is the son of former UNC QB Mark Maye(starting QB ’84-’87) and this kids brother is Luke Maye who was recently a pretty good all-acc Forward for UNC’s bball team.

    This was all planned(the committing to Alabama & the flipping to UNC), as Drake was ALWAYS going to UNC.


    1. Guys I have a big sales pitch today and cannot police the board so please do not let this Hopkins map thing turn towards politics. Thank you


  3. Hey, it’s all a conspiracy these days, especially with the internet. The Sick map, the virus itself, college recruiting, the nominations for the Academy Awards, the crowning of the local Homecoming Queen and King … you name it, there’s a controversy


  4. It seems that just like in the game where it the second guy that retaliates gets the flag, the first to take a shot gets away with it. Hard to be a ref.


  5. just got an email entitled ‘2020 Pitt Football Ticket Options’. The following are available:

    Even row number seats 1 – 5 -9 – 13 – 17 -21

    Odd numbered rows 3 – 7 – 11- 15 – 19 – 23


  6. Well son of a gun…… Richard has done it again and comes through with a great and informative article to help out Mike, nice job Richard.

    One thing I noticed is the amount of recruits that UNC accumulated the past five years. Total number of 116 which would be an average of 23 per season. I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I highly doubt that PITT has recruited anywhere close to that many. Not sure how many preferred walk-on’s or walk-on’s. UNC must have a pretty high attrition rate.


    1. Ike – over the last 5 recruiting years (2016 – 2020), Pitt has 105 signed LOI’s. That’s 21 a year..

      BC 19.0 & Duke 19.4 are lowest in average. No. Car. Louisville & FSU are tied for the highest average with 23.3

      Surprisingly to me, Clemson only averages 20.8. Alabama averages 25.


  7. Tar Heels will be the team to beat in the Coastal in the foreseeable future and will go on to challenge Clemson for the ACC title with potential to appear in the CFP….HOWELL is the real deal while KP still tries to get his scope “ sighted-in.” (Please no trick shot vids-remember Johnny FB/NP doing vids……..Whoopi sh#%!


    1. BigB – The tar heels have a potent offense with a lot of returning starters. Howell is the real thing. But their defense is just average or worse. Remember they gave up 34 to Pitt.

      Read the linked articles at bottom of my article. Even the Rivals site covering North Carolina says defense could be a problem.


  8. Richard… thanks for the article…. passed it on to my TARHEEL posse Greg Sasser and Frank Nixon….hopefully, the season goes on -Frank, Greg and their gang have a great tailgate in Chapel Hill… bunch of POVerts attended the last one… believe it or not we lost That game in the final minutes


  9. Heels had a crappy running game in ‘19…. if they get that going “ look out!”

    In my opinion, we had neither a running or passing game… just look at the number of rushing and passing TDs………the O should not have this many questions at this point in gorilla arms tenure ( missing UPITT)….. hope that all changes this year….. still a young OL.. me thinks they need to be a little leaner and more athletics…. carrying 310 lbs (50-60 lbs of lard ) and slow on the feet created an advantage for the D… just ask the shorter, lighter, quicker and stronger AD……


    1. Once again, I am disagreeing on the No. Car running game – its was there in the 2019 game. 8 players made All ACC honors at running back. 2 each on 1’st, 2’nd & 3’rd teams plus 2 honorable mentions. Of those 8, 2 were tar heels. Unless there is an overload of voters from North Carolina, they already have a supposedly good running attack.

      Could it get better? Yes. Could Pitt’s get better? Yes.


  10. I wonder if Drake Maye gave Alabama (or the bag man) his $500 back 🙂 It seems to me that the overall maturity of the returning ACC teams will be the deciding factor this year, not the incoming recruits. Skipping Spring ball probably hurt the recruits who started early to attend Spring practice. And there will not be much coach/player contact before Fall camp. So the teams that return most starters and have coaching continuity will probably do the best this year.

    As for the virus, the antibody injections are as good as having a vaccine, so you can be sure that the colleges are lining up the plasma donors right now.


  11. VOR, Hope it works…. maybe they will get new insights which will lead to a cure for the common cold….man , would that be great- all the money I could save on “ cold meds” could be given to a PITT “ bag man” to help bring an end to this long suffering PITT fan….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. On board with Pitt knocking on the door of TEN Wins for the first time in the Narduzzi era.

    A 4 year starter at Quarterback… a 6 year starter at Safety… the BEST Player since Donald at the other Safety. If not now, then when?

    Not even the Wuhan Virus can squelch this kind of karma.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Or maybe the QB is off his game given a hangover from the night before or fighting some infection from some sexually transmitted disease. I jest of course. But I’m for any edge in this game.



  13. Richard — thank you for the article and all your good work.

    Tex — I don’t see fans in every other seat as being adequate distancing. Then you have the issue of people leaving their seats during the game… Sounds like a nightmare with the potential for lots of conflicts, but, of course, I’m just guessing…

    Go Pitt.


    1. You are probably right. Every other seat is probably best case. But I do see allowing only fans with the antibody. But still much is Unknown about this virus. The old normal didn’t work. We live in a new normal now.



  14. right now, expect anything. Although I think the FB season going off as normal is probably least likely, also be prepared for a crowdless season, a shortened season, a spring season or no season.

    But whatever happens will be fine. Face it, everyone here would prefer that the Pitt vaccine proves to be the cure over both Pitt FB and BB team winning the ACC,

    Liked by 2 people

  15. A couple of things I want to point out:

    Articles with a lot of charts & data are best read on a PC, Laptop, or Tablet with a Yuengling chaser. Not on a phone.

    As wwb points out in the first comment on this article – it’s not only Pitt but also what’s happening to our opponents on how our season progresses.

    If you haven’t already read the articles linked at the bottom of this article, please do. They are from the Pantherlair site as a free article. It was a great idea for the seven coastal sites to each review the team they cover & share with the other sites. Kudos for the idea.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. UNC certainly is recruiting well but then there is this from the Buckeye’s beat writer…..(think any money is changing hands?)

    Ari Wasserman@AriWasserman

    Eight of Ohio State’s 16 commitments are rated in the top 70 overall players in the 2021 class.
    The rest of the Big Ten has a combined 4 commitments from top 70 players.


  17. Antibodies or not, fans like me should probably be made to wear a mask, as I’m sure germs will be flying at games during tirades when things aren’t going Pitt’s way.


  18. Sam Howell can be expected to be much better this year -accuracy + reading defenses, too. But (and it’s a big but) there is a whole season’s worth of video on him now, as well. Good DCs, with a huge chunk of Corona time on their hands have, I’m sure, been analyzing him and his tendencies. Out DBs need to be given a huge helpimg hand by the DL and LBs to rattle him and HURT him.

    BTW: Sam Howell III will become
    SHIIIT, by the time Pitt leaves Chapel Hill! (or SH3T??)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could be the classic offense versus defense matchup for the next three years in the coastal. For Sanity sake I sure hope there is a season this year


  19. I’m sure Ohio State has already mastered the “touchless” bag-man exchange…

    They probably brought in Dr. Fauci for a consult.

    (Wait, maybe we can offer recruits first dibs on the Pitt Vaccine! Maybe that becomes more coveted and enticing than $10K…)

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. ^^ BL, I agree and hope that a flaw may have been found in Howell’s game and do think there are some. Can pressure get in his head, will Bates design a defense that fools SH or will Sam get into his own head? I think he’s really good but again and I’m just repeating what I have heard. He has issues and I will leave that as is.

    Richard, that’s my point, with teams only allowed 85 scholarships at any one given time where are the extra players constantly matriculating year after year? I know PITT has players leaving each year with eligibility but the question is….. are these players leaving for another college team or the NFL. According to the chart above, it doesn’t look like they are turning pro and I raise this as a question. Thanks my friend.


  21. After re-reviewing the above charts it looks like UNC could lose a total of 13 players or maybe more. Brown weeding out some players.


    1. Ike – I think I know where you are coming from but I do not know anything about the ins & outs at North Carolina. I thought I could look at Pitt & their 105 signed recruits over the last 5 years for insight. According to my data Pitt still has 5 scholarships to give.

      Probably my data is wrong. What I am sure of is the 18 recruits from the ’20 class is Intact. So is the 19 recruits from ’19. That’s 37. Only 16 left (from 20) in the ’18 class. That’s now 53. The ’17 class started with 24 & now down to 17, Total is now 70. The (now red-shirt) ’15 class is down to 8 either due to graduation, transfers & medical reasons. That’s 78. Throw in the TE & QB transfers & only 80 schollies. The missing five are either walk-ons that now have schollies or in the pocket for must have grad transfer(s).

      Anyway, all that probably went/going on at North Carolina but with slightly larger numbers.

      Maybe someone has better insight on how many scholarships Pitt has.


      1. Right Richard, I think my bottom line here is how different teams do their business? All this considering the recent coaching change at UNC. Also, I think there is something to say about players sticking around and showing loyalty and vice versa.


    1. To be clear it was a Chinese lab.

      To also be clear to could have been either but I’m sorry I’m not going to allow that speculation on this Pitt Sports blog.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Heather Lyke was on The Fan this AM (you can replay it on Radio.com – she was on around 830am) and she made reference to it. Just happened to turn it on.


        1. The Fan Morning Show@FanMorningShow
          AD Heather Lyke on Pitt athletics financial situation right now: “I feel confident in where we sit. Everyone needs to be obviously a lot more fiscally tight & conservative at this point. But we don’t anticipate any significant changes to our sports sponsorship.”


          1. She also said, I’m optimistic, but not confident with respect to football games this fall.
            Also said:

            Athletics will re-start only after campuses open
            Doesn’t envision games without fans.

            At the end she said, “Sorry guys. I have to jump on a call with Tex, who is providing valubale guidance to the university at this difficult time.” :))

            Liked by 5 people

  22. Didnt Reed use blue jeans as a format for his round table discussions? Maybe another roundtable on Pitt football could be arranged in this dead period. Always interesting POVs.


    1. You guys are welcome to zoom conference on your own. I can probably set up a weekly “official” POV call but not more than one a week


  23. I’m all for the idea of a renewal of the round-table. It would be great to see some old faces and hopefully a few new ones. I’m willing to help with ideas for subject material but I doubt I partake in the discussions.


  24. OT:
    I was trying to think of the 24 best players from WPA by position. I don’t know enough about the Nitters to fill out the roster.
    It seems to me we are loaded at QB and offense in general. I am having a hard time at Defensive end and wide receiver.


        1. Bruce Clark from New Caste played at DE for PSU in late 70s, and won Lombardi Award. 1st round pick of the Saints.

          Randy Holloway from Sharon played DE for Pitt’s national title team, 1st rounder for Vikings


  25. Jonathon Baldwin wouldn’t be a bad pick at WR….. and then there is Steve Breston who played QB in high school but WR in college.

    Aaron Donald lined up a lot at D-End and tackle.


    1. Breaston good pick. I had Baldwin.
      Just thought right now Fred Biletnikoff. Has to be someone that played at non local school.


  26. Just diagnosed with cancer in thyroid so got that going for me over covid. Dr. undergrad Pitt, MS Ped, med school Cuse. Gotta lIst of affiliation questions to ask. HIs last name is DeMARIINO .On the plus side I am working out of house so can sneak off to treatments. Hey at 65 and the big iC am I a double risk? Just wondering how much work I can dump. ; – )
    As to Tosu higher recruits = they pay better.
    And to think I took a year or so off to learn to be nicer on social media. Went to a Chinese reeducation camp where i did learn to read and eat bats, Probably inappropriate, sorry MM but I feel the need to babble.
    Check back later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At 65, I say you’re going to beat it. At 85, would be dicey. The stats are online and really encouraging. Will be praying for you.


    1. anyone remember Ted Kwalick from McKees Rocks? But shame on all of you … does Mike Ditka ring a bell?

      (don’t know if he played TE at Quippa)


        1. Hey Ike
          You guys are improving the team every response.
          I am definitely open minded on roster changes !
          I had Conner at DE until the massive upgrade from WBB


  27. Russ, that’s what we are here for, you’re getting something very heavy off your chest. I would say welcome to the C-Club but that would be a terrible choice of words. Good luck RKB and you have my email if you ever want to talk… Now is the time we work together..


  28. Don’t think this was posted yet … but yesterday VP Pence met with the major college commissioners about the resumption of sports. The consensus was that they would be no sports until students are back on campus.That kind of surprised me

    Don’t believe this would qualify as political


  29. All and all, this has become a pretty miserable day. I’m losing faith in the medical establishment to get a handle on this corona virus in time for summer and then football. They have been promising advanced testing, a therapy and even a plasma treatment for weeks now, but the bodies keep piling up. Pitt’s new vaccine seems like it is promising, but will take months to get approval for use. They just interviewed someone on TV who spent days in the hospital with the virus, and is now recovering at home, and they offered her NOTHING in the way of a therapy. And then Haysroad gets the big C. And it’s even been cloudy and rain all day…totally miserable. Sorry to vent.


  30. I was livid today when I heard that the 7 state region that includes Pennsylvania had extended my solitary confinement sentence until May 15th. Then I read where Virginia has extended theirs until June 10th! JoeL, what’s up with that? I’m going to predict that isn’t happening. The uprising in Richmond will make the Whisky Rebellion look like a Pitt POV tailgate.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Since I can’t go out to a restaurant can I invite myself over to one of your home for dinner… I lucky to be married to a great cook but darn I could use a change of scenery!!!


  32. 8 days after applying for Paycheck Protection Program the money was delivered into our companies bank account today… talk about a streamlined , simple fast process!!!!! Now our employees get their paychecks if needed for up to 8 weeks….. hopefully, we will be up and running by May 1st…..only issue around here is being a tourist destination for many who live in “ viral hotspots” …..not one case in the county where JeanieB n me reside….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Congrats BigB. I work with a non-profit that got their loan funding on Tuesday. Surprisingly efficient if your bank has its act together. Many banks including some big ones did not. And of course now the money is gone.


  33. Good for you Biggie!
    Any chance i can get on your payroll as a “consultant” for a few weeks.
    Cant wait for the “reopening” of this great country. 🇺🇲


  34. Lastrow…Do you know the definition of “consultant”??? Answer… It’s a guy who knows 101 different ways to make love but doesn’t know any women!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Hays Road Brother – Thoughts and prayers are with you as you beat this new obstacle. We dont let no stinkin health problem beat boys from Hays Road! We need you to stick around big boyeee! I’ll make the trip in for the next golf outing after you beat this. Will be great to see you.

    Back to the drawing board on c19. Everyone stay well and keep washing your hands.


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