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Tarheel Football Moving Ahead With Transfers and Dismissals

January 13, 2010

The UNC Football roster is in flux.  Every coach has to plan around graduating seniors, and a talented team will occasionally see players leave early for the NFL.  This off-season, the departures seem planned and for the benefit of Coach Butch Davis and his Tarheels.  Fortunately for Coach Davis, he has six key juniors returning for their senior seasons.  None will depart early for the NFL.  In fact, the Tarheels will graduate 13 seniors this year, but only one would be called an impact player.  Senior Kyle Jolly (OT 6-6 300) was an All-ACC pick for the 2009 season, but all eight of the other All-ACC Heels were underclassmen.  The Carolina Football squad will see a lot of quality players return. 

The non-senior departures look to be part of a movement to get fresh players in on scholarship.  Five non-seniors will leave the program.   Additionally, two of the three recruits that they oversigned in 2009 won’t be back. 

North Carolina sent Johnnie Farms (OG 6-2 285), Jerrell Rhodes (RB 5-10 195) and D.J. Bunn (CB 5-11 190) to Hargrave Military Academy together.  Only D.J. Bunn is going to make it back to UNC as part of the 2010 class.  Rhodes is now committed to Memphis and Johnnie Farms is uncommitted for 2010.

 UNC is losing some talented players in the five that aren’t returning, but it’s likely part of an orchestrated attrition.    Blue Chip recruit Jamal Womble has decided to transfer. Womble (RB 5-11 215) was a part of the 2008 class at UNC.  He’s from Arizona and turned down Arizona State to come to UNC.   Womble has three years of eligibility remaining but would have to burn one by sitting out a year to play at a PAC-10 school.   

Rashad Mason (WR 6-6 215) is another blue chipper that’s opted to transfer.  Mason, from Nashville, Tennessee, was a part of the 2007 class.  He turned down Kentucky, Michigan and Mississippi to come to Carolina.  With only two years of eligibility remaining, he may opt to drop down a level in order to play immediately.     Mason was a reserve who saw little playing time, but could contribute significantly to another program.

Hawatha Bell is yet another blue chip player on the outs with Coach Butch Davis.  Bell’s case is a little more complicated.  He is a redshirt freshman from Charlotte who was kept from playing in Carolina’s Meineke Bowl appearance a few weeks ago.  He has now been dismissed from the team.  Bell was recruited out of Mathews, NC and had multiple offers from DI FBS schools all over the region.   Bell (ILB 6-1 225) would be in the same situation as Jamal Womble, having three years to play three seasons.  He would have to sit out a year in order to play at another FBS program or he could play next year at a FCS level school. 

The last two players leaving North Carolina early carry less impact.  Vince Jacobs (TE 6-7 218) of Charlotte, NC is a junior who finished his undergraduate degree work and leaves the program after not registering any statistics this season.  Jacobs was a four-star rated player coming out of high school, but was rarely utilized.  Another Tight End leaving the program is redshirt freshman Randy White of Bristol, VA (6-5 228).  White was a less heralded player out of high school who saw no playing time with the Heels.

Because of these departures, Butch Davis now has five more scholarships for his 2010 class.  He seems to be pushing away players that didn’t pan out under his system with the plan to bring freshmen that might be a better fit.

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