UNC Football extends offer to ACC transfer defensive tackle

The UNC Football program jumped into a pitched battle for defensive tackle Jeffery Clark, formerly of conference rival Louisville.

Jeffery Clark (right) celebrates a stop against Indiana.
Jeffery Clark (right) celebrates a stop against Indiana. / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Hours after parting ways with defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, the UNC Football program took a step toward improving a defense that fell well short of expectations in 2023. The Tar Heels entered a pitched battle for defensive tackle Jeffery Clark, who entered the transfer portal after serving as a top reserve for conference rival Louisville.

A redshirt junior from Powder Springs, Georgia, Clark transferred to Louisville after starting his career at nearby Georgia State. He was a top defensive backup during Louisville's best overall season in a decade, and their best since joining the ACC in 2014. Clark saw action in all 14 games while coming off the bench for the Cardinals, tallying 14 tackles including two tackles for loss, as well as four quarterback hurries.

According to Louisville Report, Clark is a very versatile player. While Louisville listed him as a three-technique defensive tackle, he can also play defensive end as well. That versatility was on display during what proved to be his last year at Georgia State, when he made 39 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

That may explain why the UNC Football program is likely to have a fight on its hands to get Clark. Within hours of entering the transfer portal on December 29, shortly after the Cardinals lost the Holiday Bowl to USC, Clark received an offer from Arizona State. The Cardinals beat out the Sun Devils when Clark entered the transfer portal after the 2022 season.

He has since received offers from Michigan State and California.

To get an idea of what the Tar Heels could potentially get with Clark, watch this clip of him in action against Georgia State in 2021.

To put it mildly, Clark would be a huge get for a defense that is in need of improvement after finishing among the worst units in the Power Five. The Tar Heel defense finished ninth in the ACC in total defense; no other unit ranked below seventh finished with a winning record. They also finished 75th in FBS for total defense, and only 19 Power Five defenses finished lower.

Changes clearly needed to be made on the defensive side of the ball for 2024. By taking a run at Clark, Mack Brown and the UNC Football program showed that they are serious about making them.

The UNC Football program is still transfer portal shopping. dark. Next. The UNC Football program is still transfer portal shopping

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