ACC Football: Every team’s most important newcomers for 2021

Dabo Swinney, Clemson football (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Dabo Swinney, Clemson football (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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North Carolina football
Mack Brown, North Carolina football (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

North Carolina Tar Heels (8-4)

Florida head coach Dan Mullen said the most difficult thing to do as a college football program is to move from nine wins to 11 wins. But that is was head coach Mack Brown and the North Carolina Tar Heels are attempting to do this season.

The Tar Heels have star quarterback Sam Howell but have to replace four key skill players this season. Dyami Brown, Dazz Newsome, Michael Carter, and Jevonte Williams are all on their way to the NFL.

The Tar Heels also need to upgrade their defense. These three players will help with that.

  • Keeshawn Silver, DE: Silver, North Carolina’s only five-star, looks the part coming off of the bus. At 6-foot-6 and nearly 290 pounds, Silver will evoke the memory of another star Tar Heel pass rusher, Julius Peppers. Not only does Silver possess size like Peppers, but he was also a standout high school basketball player. Unfortunately, silver is plug-and-play right now. The Rocky Mount High School product is quick off the ball and plays with a bonafide mean streak. However, silver is the type of player who puts veterans in the portal.
  • Ty Chandler (transfer), RB:  Chandler comes to Chapel Hill at the perfect time with the departure of Williams and Carter. The Tennessee transfer has a unique blend of violence, physicality, and speed as a runner. Chandler is also a legit threat in the passing game. Howell will more than welcome Chandler into the backfield this fall.
  • DeAndre Boykins, DB: Boykins is another highly-rated recruit brought in by Mack Brown and his staff. Recruited as an athlete, Boykins is grading as a cornerback. Despite not playing corner exclusively in high school, Boykins is a natural cover corner. Since Boykins played offense in high school, he has ball skills and understands how receivers want to set him up. In addition, Boykins is a thumper who likes to hit. Expect Boykins to move up the depth chart quickly.