Here it is. We’ve saved the best for last for UNC’s football review. And no, I don’t mean the worst in an ironic way. I mean the best chance for improvement in Chapel Hill. UNC’s secondary is a glaring opportunity for Coach Larry Fedora to address. It might be harder still with a crucial element to their success gone, but Chapel Hill looks to rebuild better next year.
UNC has gained a head defensive lineman coach and lost a senior safety. It will be a new page in Chapel Hill’s defensive future but hopefully a better one for Tar Heel fans. The secondary will definitely miss Safety Gene Robinson’s 43 tackles. Robinson’s upperclassman leadership will need a replacement most of all.
It wasn’t that they the secondary didn’t have good numbers, because they did. Cornerback and rising Senior Jabari Price had a big season with 76 tackles in 11 games. Rising Junior cornerback, Tim Scott, also 47 tackles to go with 4 interceptions. Rising Senior Safety Tre Boston had 86 tackles to go with 4 interceptions as well.
It wasn’t production with this group. It was timing. The kind of backbreaking plays the offense made against the Tar Heels’ defense were consistently long throws or missed tackles. Those things don’t show up in the stat sheet but every UNC fan knows them.
They’re looking to add some more guys to the mix to the secondary mix, too. Sporadically played Cornerbacks last season include: Terry Shankle with 24 tackles in 7 games, Kameron Jackson with 13 tackles in only 3 games, and Alex Dixon had 14 tackles in 7 games. Incoming recruit Brian Walker from Charlotte is the highest ranked signee UNC scored in the offseason. The 4-star recruit will do nothing but help rebuild UNC’s shaky secondary.
Add to the fact that Coach Larry Fedora hired a new defensive lineman coach recently, and UNC’s defense is looking stronger already. When the defensive line can get better pressure on the quarterback, it should be pick city for the more veteran secondary next season. That spells more wins.