ACC Spring Preview: North Carolina

North Carolina is coming off another solid season, but would have liked to have done a little better. The Tar Heels had some big wins against ranked opponents, but fell short against teams they should have beaten.

Who they lost: North Carolina is losing a ton of talent to the draft, with three of the players it is losing as juniors. No one is more important though than star quarterback Mitch Trubisky. He threw for 3,768 yards and 30 touchdowns this past season, while only throwing six interceptions. Trubisky could possibly be their first pick in this draft. He is a major loss for the Tar Heels. They are also losing junior defensive tackle Nazir Jones, who had a whopping 70 tackles as a DT, to go along with 9.5 tackles for a loss. He really clogged the middle of the field. Ryan Switzer is also gone. He caught 96 passes for 1,112 yards. They also lost defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, who retired suddenly a few weeks back so he could spend more time with his family.

Who is coming back: With the Tar Heels losing a ton of talent, they are still bringing back some as well. Offensively they seem to be losing nearly everything, but defensively they are bringing back some good players. They will be returning leading tackler Cole Holcomb, 115 tackles last season. They will also be returning Andre Smith and Donnie Miles, who also had over 100 tackles this last season. So, they will be returning their three leading tacklers. Sack leader Malik Carney will also be back for next season. Look for this to be a strong defense.

Recruiting class: UNC had a great recruiting class which ended ranked 27th nationally. The Tar Heels have five 4-star recruits in this class. They picked up a ton of offensive lineman, which will help with pass protection. They spread out their class, getting a wide variety of talent, but did not pick up a quarterback.

2017 Schedule: North Carolina has a solid schedule, playing a lot of talent. One key game as always, Duke on Sept. 23rd. Rivalry games are big, and Duke will be a good team. Also Oct. 21st against Virginia Tech, which could be a good win against..

Projected finish: 6-7

Above photo: North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora on the sidelines at Kenan Memorial Stadium last season. (Photo by Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

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