CHAPEL HILL, NC — North Carolina Football will honor 22 seniors Friday before the NC State Game. Due to the additional COVID season which gave many players additional eligibility to play, some players are listed who may return for the 2023 season.
“We had Tomon Fox for two senior days, so it’s a little crazy now,” UNC head coach Mack Brown said Monday. “So what we’ve done with the boys, if there’s a chance you’re going, go through seniors day so you’ve got one and then if you want to come back, we’ve got it. Same goes if the seniors take a picture with the victory bell, if we beat Duke, seniors come in and it doesn’t matter if you’re in twice.
“We’ve got to look at it all and sit down and talk to each one of them after the Clemson game (ACC Championsip) and try to figure out what’s best going forward.”
Here’s who UNC will be honoring on Friday:
OL Brian Anderson, OL William Barnes, OL Noland Brown, DB Don Chapman, LB Parks Cochrane, DL Chris Collins, TE Will Crowley, DB Storm Duck, DB Val Edwards, DB Obi Egbuna, WR Antoine Green, LB Jake Harkleroad, DB Ladaeson Hollins, DB Cam Kelly, P Ben Kiernan, LS Drew Little, OL Ed Montilus, WR Justin Olson, OL Asim Richards, WR Jeffrey Saturday, DL Ray Vohasek, OL Ty Murray.
The COVID season complicates everything. Brown said he was trying to ask for an extra season from Noah Taylor, who will have missed the final four games of the regular season with a season-ending knee injury. Brown said they don’t expect the appeal to go through.
“It’s just crazy with the COVID year because you have to remember when they were here in the COVID year because after that they’re back on the regular schedule. We’re two years past that, so it’s going to be another three years, probably with some guys. So it’s just absolutely insane,” Brown said.
The transfer portal opens on December 5, so after figuring out who’s staying for an extra season, UNC staff need to figure out who’s leaving for the transfer and who to transfer.
“Where (the COVID season) helps them when they can’t play at the current location. It gives them an extra year when they switch. And I think that’s where it helps the most,” Brown said.
The change for UNC and Coach Brown is that they allow outbound transfers to stay and play in the bowl game.
“This is where it gets crazy. And I didn’t think about it, but the transfer portal opens on December 5… I probably wouldn’t have done that two years ago. But I told our guys if you want to transfer, and you want get into the transfer portal and you want to stay here and play the bowl game with us, I’m fine with that,” Brown said. “If you transfer because you’re not getting enough playing time here, but you’ll fight your guts out and help us win the bowl game, I’m fine with that.
“When you care about young people, you care about young people and you have to do what’s best for them … So that’s just a decision I made this year that I wouldn’t have made two years ago.”