We are now 8 weeks away from the Tar Heels season opening showdown with the Gamecocks of South Carolina and as the excitement and expectations for the season continue to grow we’ll take a look at a player that was recently ranked as the most important Carolina defensive player this season senior defensive back Tre Boston.
The defensive back is one of the most experienced players on the roster; he has been a key contributor to the Heels defense and special teams unit since he was a true freshman in 2010. Boston has increased his tackles and interceptions each season, leading the team with 86 tackles including a career-high 17 versus Virginia and 4 interceptions last season while be named ACC Defensive Back of the Week twice last season. He will anchor a secondary that will return all 4 starters but must improve from last season if the Tar Heels are going to take the next step toward an ACC title.
The Tar Heels defense struggled throughout the season last year, giving up over 400 yards in 7 of 12 games including an ugly stretch when they gave up over 500 yards for 3 straight games. The defense gave up 21 plays of 40 yards or more last season, 17 of which were pass plays. Boston and the secondary must eliminate those big plays they gave up last season that resulted in the Tar Heels giving up 247 yards per game which ranked 8th in the conference. Boston will likely be called upon to quarterback the secondary unit and put his teammates into the right coverage schemes for defensive coordinators Ron West and Dan Disch’s defense. Coach Disch is also the Tar Heels secondary coach, making Boston’s role in the defense even more important.
For the Tar Heels to finally win an ACC title in football they will need Boston to be a great and vocal leader while living up to his preseason All-ACC accolades. A great season for Boston is also important for his future as some draft experts have him ranked as one of the top senior defensive backs in next year’s NFL Draft. A successful season could lead to a very bright future for the senior from Fort Meyers, Florida.