Keeping It Heel continues its countdown of the top 25 players on the North Carolina Tar Heels roster with player No. 15
Keeping It Heel is going to continue to help you countdown the weeks until college football season by revealing our list of the top 25 UNC players for the upcoming season.
The football season kicks off in less than 100 days.
Besides the best thing about College Football returning can be summed up no better than ESPN’s own Mark Schlabach:
I can’t wait for the college football season to start so we can stop listening to Lavar Ball
Absolutely. So what better way to do that than getting a sneak peek at the future of the Tar Heels.
So let’s get started with player No. 15, a sophomore punter who may be called on a lot this season.
Tom Sheldon (Sophomore)
Hometown: Echuca, Victoria, Australia
High School: N/A
Last Season: Last season was an up and down one for Sheldon. For every good punt, there was one that was equally frustrating.
He finished the season with 50 punts for an average of 42.7 yards per kick. The average was good enough to be in the top 30 percent of all punters in college football. It was also tied for fourth in the ACC.
Sheldon’s longest punt was 63 yards, which he kicked in the win over Miami.
Why he might move up this list: North Carolina lost a ton on offense this year. If things don’t run smoothly or a quarterback never emerges, then UNC may find itself in a lot of fourth down territory and in need of a long leg like Sheldon’s.
Sheldon was also named preseason second team All-ACC, so a lot is being expected of the young Aussie.
Why he might move down this list: Here is the thing about punters, the more successful the offense the less a punter is needed. Again that doesn’t mean that Sheldon would necessarily have a bad year, he just might not have a lot of punting yards.
Also depending on how bad of a spot the offense leaves him, other teams may send more blockers at him. This could leave Sheldon having to scramble or pooch which in turn could leave several kicks short.
Prediction: Last season the NCAA leader in total punts was Michael Cintron at Rutgers with 95. The Scarlett Knights finished last season a lowly 2-10.
While I do believe the Tar Heels will regress some this season, I would be shocked to see them fall that far. Sheldon punts a few more times ending the season with 65 total punts for an average of 43 yards per punt.