This article will do two things: praise Kevin Reddick’s accomplishments and try to find a replacement. Let me tell you, finding a replacement for this man is a massive undertaking. It could take more than a season.
I want to highlight his accomplishments first. Reddick played every single game this season where he had three or more tackles in every single game. Kevin had an impressive 85 tackles with 49 of them being solo alongside 6.5 sacks. Let’s take a moment to thank Reddick for all his accomplishments and being an anchor for the Tar Heels in Larry Fedora’s first year.
However, the fact remains: The 6’4’’, 240 pound linebacker will not return next season. UNC will have serious trouble replacing him in terms of leadership and production. Maybe UNC shouldn’t focus on the mindset of plugging a hole. Fedora needs to emphasize a ‘swarming’ mentality.
Tommy Heffernan will have to ratchet up his play. He’s a rising junior with good stats with 72 tackles. Without Heffernan’s partner in crime in Reddick, he will have to think of next season as a real chance to shine. The fact that Tommy Heffernan was only a sophomore last season adds weight and credibility to the idea that he has a fairly good chance to be a filler for Reddick’s absence. The man’s got two more seasons of internalizing Fedora’s defensive system in front of him.
Kevin Reddick will not be replaced. Let’s just establish that fact now. However, UNC can look to other players, namely Heffernan, as the guy to keep them in contention. Reddick will absolutely be missed. However, UNC will need to cement that ‘swarming’ mentality to make up for the lost numbers—with Heffernan leading the charge.