Analysis of UNC’s Preseason Depth Chart


This morning, UNC released its preseason depth chart ahead of ACC Media Days this week. Here is the full depth chart, transcribed to the internet by the good folks at Inside Carolina…

"OFFENSELeft Tackle75 – Bentley Spain (6-6, 300, So.)51 – William Sweet (6-7, 300, Fr.)Left Guard70 – Caleb Peterson (6-5, 300, Jr.) OR65 – Jared Cohen (6-3, 310, So.)Center68 – Lucas Crowley (6-3, 290, Jr.)74 – Will Dancy (6-4, 305, Sr.)Right Guard78 – Landon Turner (6-4, 325, Sr.)73 – Brad Henson (6-5, 290, So.)Right Tackle71 – Jon Heck (6-6, 300, Jr.)77 – John Ferranto (6-5, 300, Jr.)76 – R.J. Prince (6-6, 325, So.)Tight End/Y81 – Kendrick Singelton (6-2, 215, Sr.)82 – Brandon Fritts (6-4, 245, Fr.*)Quarterback12 – Marquise Williams (6-2, 225, Sr.)10 – Mitch Trubisky (6-3, 220, So.)Tailback8 – T.J. Logan (5-10, 190, Jr.) OR34 – Elijah Hood (6-0, 220, So.) OR21 – Romar Morris (5-10, 190, Sr.)Wide Receiver13 – Mack Hollins (6-4, 210, Jr.)84 – Bug Howard (6-5, 210, Jr.)Wide Receiver3 – Ryan Switzer (5-10, 185, Jr.)7 – Austin Proehl (5-10, 175, So.)Wide Receiver14 – Quinshad Davis (6-4, 220, Sr.)35 – Damien Washington (6-1, 195, Sr.)DEFENSEDefensive End44 – Junior Gnonkonde (6-4, 260, Jr.) OR17 – Dajaun Drennon (6-4, 255, So.)Defensive Tackle95 – Tyler Powell (6-4, 290, So.)49 – Jeremiah Clarke (6-5, 315, Fr.*)Defensive Tackle98 – Justin Thomason (6-4, 295, Sr.)90 – Nazair Jones (6-5, 295, So.)Defensive End43 – Jessie Rogers (6-4, 270, Sr.) OR97 – Jalen Dalton (6-6, 280, Fr.)45 – Mikey Bart (6-3, 270, Jr.)Sam Linebacker42 – Shakeel Rashad (6-2, 235, Sr.)34 – Cole Holcomb (6-1, 215, So.) OR20 – Tyrell Tomlin (5-11, 235, So.)Mike Linebacker10 – Jeff Schoettmer (6-2, 235, Sr.)47 – Dan Mastromatteo (6-2, 235, Jr.)56 – Andre Smith (6-0, 235, Fr.)Will Linebacker32 – Joe Jackson (6-2, 225, Jr.)23 – Cayson Collins (6-1, 235, So.)Cornerback6 – M.J. Stewart (5-11, 200, So.) OR28 – Brian Walker (5-11, 190, Jr.)Free Safety3 – Sam Smiley (5-11, 190, Sr.)15 – Donnie Miles (5-11, 210, So.)Strong Safety21 – J.K. Britt (6-0, 195, Fr.) OR26 – Dominquie Green (5-11, 190, Jr.)4 – Allen Artis (6-1, 205, So.)Cornerback11 – Malik Simmons (5-11, 190, Sr.) OR2 – Des Lawrence (6-1, 185, Jr.)19 – Kedrick Davis (5-10, 180, Jr.)SPECIAL TEAMSPlace-kicker24 – Nick Weiler (6-0, 190, Jr.)98 – Freeman Jones (6-0, 200, Fr.*)Kickoff Specialist24 – Nick Weiler (6-0, 190, Jr.)98 – Freeman Jones (6-0, 200, Fr.*)Punter90 – Corbin Daly (6-3, 200, Fr.*)23 – Joey Mangili (6-3, 210, Jr.)Deep Snapper60 – Kyle Murphy (6-2, 225, So.)61 – Hunter Crafford (6-2, 225, So.)Kickoff Return21 – Romar Morris (5-10, 190, Sr.)35 – Damien Washington (6-1, 195, Sr.)8 – T.J. Logan (5-10, 190, Jr.)Punt Return3 – Ryan Switzer (5-10, 185, Jr.)7 – Austin Proehl (5-10, 175, So.)"

First, some thoughts on the offensive line. There are a few key developments to watch here over the course of preseason practice. First, at left tackle, sophomore Bentley Spain is in, while John Ferranto has been moved over to the right side. This means that almost certainly the Ferranto era at left tackle is over, while the Bentley Spain era is starting with the South Carolina game this fall.

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Spain was an uber-talented prospect and blue chip recruit, and has the chance to be an excellent left tackle. I’m excited to watch Spain and see what he can do.

At left guard, Caleb Peterson is fighting for his starting job with Jared Cohen, another big recruit. I expect Caleb Peterson to win this battle, as he is the incumbent starter and did a pretty good job last year.

At right tackle, Jon Heck is the first team starter and Ferranto is the backup for now. I also expect Heck to start the season as the starter and Ferranto to start on the bench.

No surprises at the skill positions. The running backs are all tied for first team, but that was to be expected and makes sense. I think one of the RBs will take control of the starting job at some point during the season. It is good news that Carolina has a lot of returning talent and depth at this spot.

Moving to the defensive side of the ball…

Tyler Powell is one of the starting defensive tackles, along with Justin Thomason. Powell played well in spots last season, but I don’t understand why Naz Jones isn’t starting over him. Jones made a bigger impact last season than Powell, as Jones finished the season with 35 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups and an interception, and led the team in tackles for loss, per his bio at You could have argued that Jones was even the best defensive lineman that Carolina had. I’m surprised he isn’t a starter but I think he will still get plenty of playing time this fall, as he figures to be a major part of Carolina’s pass rush and new, improved defense.

Jalen Dalton is listed as 1b starter at defensive end, which is a great development. Dalton was Carolina’s best recruit in the Class of 2015 and is an exciting player. The more Chizik gets this kid on the field, the better. It is great news that he has already established himself as a co-starter on the depth chart.

At linebacker, Jeff Schoettmer is the anchor for an otherwise shaky group. I like Cayson Collins, I like Shak Rashad, but this group is still a weak point. Hopefully the new positions help this group and they can adjust quickly.

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In the secondary, a very surprising development is Brian Walker listed as a co-starter with M.J. Stewart. Walker is the biggest, most recognizable name in the secondary and is generally regarded as that unit’s best player. However, Stewart played well in stretches last year, with a nice interception against Duke. Depth at this position is good, and may the best man win.

As for special teams…

No real surprises here. T.J. Logan has a kickoff touchdown but is listed third on the KR depth chart. That is a bit surprising, but Romar and Damien are both pretty good too.

Stay tuned to Keeping It Heel for more analysis on Carolina football!