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Top 10 returning players at North Carolina are led by WR Josh Downs

The North Carolina Tar Heels return a stable basis of school soccer expertise in life after Sam Howell. North Carolina’s prime returning players are heavy on one facet of the ball, however WR Josh Downs will closely help within the transition from Howell to a brand new quarterback in 2022.

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Top 10 returning players at North Carolina

We’re counting down all the highest 10 players returning to motion on each workforce — we’ll take care of transfers later — from Air Force to Wyoming, from Miami to Hawaii, and all in between. Here are the highest returning players to North Carolina.

10) Asim Richards, OT

A younger offense will at least deliver again a proficient offensive deal with as Asim Richards returns in 2022. Richards, who will stick at left deal with for whoever wins the signal-caller job, is a reliable asset. He presents a sound base with nice energy in his decrease physique to fend off robust rushers. Richards additionally strikes nicely, each in go safety and within the run sport.

9) Kaimon Rucker, EDGE

Forcing havoc off the sting, Kaimon Rucker has the luxurious of two dominant defenders on the within. Rucker finds these free speeding lanes or favorable matchups as he strikes across the edge nicely. He’ll push previous tackles along with his mix of pace and energy, as he completed with 5.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks a season in the past.

8) Storm Duck, CB

One of the standouts from UNC’s 2019 season, Storm Duck hasn’t fairly capitalized on his terrific freshman season. Yet, Duck presents a participant with star potential if he can keep wholesome and within the lineup. In Gene Chizik’s system, Duck ought to be capable of man the skin and construct on what he showcased down the stretch of final season. He made a number of performs on the ball over the ultimate few weeks and appeared prepared for greater issues when the season completed.

7) Antoine Green, WR

The greater goal for the UNC passing assault, Antoine Green lastly had his second final season. Green completed with 612 yards and 5 touchdowns because the 6’2″, 207-pounder had a terrific complementary season to Downs. Handling the enterprise as a No. 1 broad receiver on the skin, Green our bodies smaller defensive backs and has nice abilities at the catch level.

6) Cedric Gray, LB

Leading the workforce in tackles is one factor. Finishing among the many prime of your teammates in tackles for loss and sacks is one other. Cedric Gray racked up 100 whole tackles to guide the Tar Heels, whereas his presence within the backfield paved the way in which for a number of prime marks in tackles for loss and sacks. He’s a dominant three-down linebacker at his greatest when he’s shifting in the direction of the ball, whether or not working the alley or blitzing the quarterback.

5) Raymond Vohasek, DT

Rushing his approach to the quarterback, Raymond Vohasek was a dominant nostril deal with in 2021. The place is commonly thankless and infrequently talked about because it’s a place of grit, energy, and tenacity. There isn’t a lot that’s attractive in regards to the place, but Vohasek made it look good in 2021. He completed with 4 tackles for loss and a single sack. Still, his thankless efforts allowed for favorable matchups on the skin as a result of Vohasek required a number of blockers to cease him up the center.

4) Tony Grimes, CB

Back for one more 12 months of limiting receivers in his protection, Tony Grimes returns to provide North Carolina an edge on the skin. Grimes is lengthy and bodily, enjoying a singular model of soccer on the skin. He stays with receivers very nicely and limits large performs. Despite that physicality, there’s sufficient burst in his sport that enables him to make performs on the ball look simple.

3) Cam’Ron Kelly, S

The protection in Chapel Hill will likely be tasked with forcing extra turnovers. Cam’Ron Kelly returns because the chief in takeaways after intercepting 4 passes final season and ought to be a frontrunner beneath new defensive coordinator Gene Chizik. Kelly has nice dimension at the security place, sufficient to cowl tight ends from the field whereas presenting pace and quickness to cowl backs out of the backfield all the identical.

2) Myles Murphy, DT

A star within the making, Myles Murphy is again to show he’s not simply “the other Myles Murphy” within the ACC. Murphy stands 6’4″ and 300 kilos but strikes like a nimble defensive finish. He’ll rush from throughout UNC’s defensive position and have related success. He’s an enormous man to deal with however an much more taxing defender to determine as he has energy and pace in his arsenal.

1) Josh Downs, WR

Whoever wins the job at quarterback could have one of many nation’s prime go catchers at his disposal as Josh Downs is again for North Carolina. Downs exploded onto the scene with 1,335 yards and eight touchdowns a season in the past. He wins from the slot, so his younger quarterback ought to look his approach typically in 2022. His capacity to get open is unmatched at the place this season, as Downs can flip his defensive backs round within the blink of a watch. Downs is a magician within the open area and ought to be thought of a home-run menace each time he touches the ball.

(*10*)Honorable point out players returning to UNC in 2022

  • Ja’Qurious Conley, S
  • Don Chapman, S
  • Quiron Johnson, G
  • William Barnes, OT
  • Ed Montilus, G
  • Power Echols, LB

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can discover his writing right here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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