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North Carolina Tar Heels 2021 College Football Team Breakdown (Depth Chart, Schedule & Betting Preview)

Matt Gajewski



PrizePicks CFB DFS College Football NCAAF projections ownership props Sam Howell Saturday October 9

No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels

2020 Record: 8-4
Returning Starters: Offense No. 8, Defense No. 10

Key Metrics and Personnel

  • Head Coach — Mack Brown
  • Offensive Coordinator — Phil Longo
  • Defensive Coordinator — Jay Bateman
  • Points/Game — 41.0 (11th)
  • Plays/Game — 74.1 (42nd)
  • Pass Rate — 44.29% (85th)
  • Yards/Att R — 5.7 (6th)
  • Yards/Att P — 10.1 (6th)
  • Yards/Att Allowed R — 4.4 (65th)
  • Yards Att Allowed P — 7.6 (75th)
  • Points Allowed/Game — 31.3 (74th)
  • Vegas Win Total – 9.5, Over -120, Under +100


Mack Brown is in his second stint as head coach of North Carolina. He previously coached UNC in the 90’s. He then coached Texas from 1998-2013. He returned to UNC in 2019. Air raid specialist Phil Longo has been his offensive coordinator since 2019. He previously coordinated the offense at Ole Miss. Jay Bateman has coordinated the defense since 2019 as well.

Recruiting Class: No. 14

Five Star Recruits:

  • Keeshawn Silver — DL — No. 30

Other Top Recruits:

  • Drake Maye — QB — No. 55
  • Raneiria Dillworth — LB — No. 102
  • Power Echols — LB — No. 127
  • Jahvaree Ritzie — DL — No. 132
  • DeAndre Boykins — ATH — No. 179
  • Gavin Blackwell — WR — No. 205
  • Gabe Stephens — ATH — No. 230
  • Kamaroo Edmonds — RB — No. 249
  • Eli Sutton — OT — No. 254
  • Dontavius Nash — S — No. 278
  • Bryson Nesbit — TE — No. 340
  • J.J. Jones — WR — No. 66 WR
  • Kobe Paysour — WR — No. 68 WR


  • Ty Chandler (RB — Tennessee)

Daily Fantasy Players to Watch 

QB Sam Howell, RB Ty Chandler, WR Khafre Brown

North Carolina Tar Heels Depth Charts

Offense: 8 Returning Starters

  • QB: Sam Howell, Jacolby Criswell
  • RB: Ty Chandler, British Brooks
  • WR1: Khafre Brown, Antoine Green
  • WR2: Josh Downs, Gavin Blackwell
  • WR3: Beau Corrales, Emery Simmons
  • TE: Garrett Walston, Kamari Morales
  • LT: Asim Richards, Cayden Baker
  • LG: Joshua Ezeudu, Ed Montilus
  • C: Brian Anderson, Quiron Johnson
  • RG: Marcus McKethan, William Barnes
  • RT: Jordan Tucker, Jonathan Adorno

Defense: 10 Returning Starters

  • Edge: Jahvaree Ritzie
  • DT: Raymond Vohasek
  • DT: Myles Murphy
  • Edge: Tomon Fox
  • LB: Eugene Asante
  • LB: Jeremiah Gemmel, Chris Collins
  • CB: Kyler McMichael
  • CB: Tony Grimes
  • CB-N Storm Duck, Ladaeson DeAndre Hollins
  • S: Trey Morrison
  • S: Ja’Qurious Conley

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North Carolina Tar Heels Breakdown

North Carolina finished 8-4 last year with losses to Florida State (31-28), Virginia (44-41), Notre Dame (31-17), and Texas A&M (41-27) in their bowl game. They also had single-digit wins over Boston College and Wake Forest

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At quarterback North Carolina retains likely future first round pick and second-team All-ACC quarterback Sam Howell. Last year, Howell completed 68.1% of his passes for 10.3 yards per attempt. This equated to 3,586 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just 7 interceptions. He added 146 yards and five additional touchdowns as a rusher. Jacolby Criswell should backup Howell, but UNC added four-star quarterback Drake Maye as well

At running back they lost Javonte Williams and Michael Carter. The top back on the roster is Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler. He has rushed for 2,046 yards in his career with Tennessee. His best season came in 2019. He rushed for 655 yards on 135 attempts (4.9 yards per carry). He also has at least 10 receptions in every season. Behind him British Brooks, D.J. Jones, Josh Henderson, and Elijah Green are the returning rushers in that order. This will be a battle decided in fall camp.

At receiver, North Carolina lost Dyami Brown and slot specialist Dazz Newsome. Beau Corrales was the No. 3 receiver, but he went down with an injury last year. In 2019, he caught 40 passes for 575 yards. Khafre Brown is the other favorite to start. He caught 15 passes for 337 yards and should slide into Brown’s deep threat role (22.5 yards per reception). Many believe former 2020 four-star recruit Josh Downs slides into the WR3 spot. He only caught 7 passes for 119 yards last year. Emery Simmons is another potential replacement after he caught 15 passes for 201 yards. They also have incoming four-star Gavin Blackwell and veteran presence Antoine Green.

At tight end North Carolina returns Garrett Walston after he caught 19 passes for 255 yards. Kamari Morales should play a complementary role here as well.

On the offensive line, North Carolina returns all five starters. They allowed 12 sacks and 100 QB pressures as a unit. They ranked 94th in pass blocking but performed well in the run game. Marcus McKethan and Joshua Ezeudu were All ACC. Asim Richards, Jordan Tucker, and Brian Anderson also return as starters.

On defense, North Carolina lost Chazz Surratt, Patrice Rene, and Myles Wolfolk. The defensive line returns all their starters including Tamon Fox, Raymond Vohasek, and Desmond Evans. They also get impressive freshman Jahvaree Ritzie. Jeremiah Gemmel was a full-time starter at linebacker, while Chris Collins, Tyrone Hopper, and Eugene Asange have all started games. Their defensive backfield should be stronger. They return Storm Duck from injury. Kyler McMichael and Tony Grimes both started games at corner. Trey Morrison returns to start at safety and Ja’Qurious Conley also played a lot. Nine different players started in last year’s secondary, so they have depth and experience.

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North Carolina 2021 Football Schedule

  • 09/03 VA Tech 6:00 pm Away
  • 09/11 Georgia State 7:30 pm Home
  • 09/18 Virginia 7:30 pm Home
  • 09/25 GA Tech 1:00 pm Neutral
  • 10/02 Duke 1:00 pm Home
  • 10/09 Florida St 1:00 pm Home
  • 10/16 Miami (FL) 1:00 pm Home
  • 10/30 Notre Dame 7:30 pm Away
  • 11/06 Wake Forest 1:00 pm Home
  • 11/11 Pittsburgh 7:30 pm Away
  • 11/20 Wofford 12:00 pm Home
  • 11/26 NC State 12:00 pm Away

North Carolina Football Betting Outlook

As far as ACC schedules go, North Carolina has an easy one. They play Georgia State, Wofford and away at Notre Dame in non-conference play. They dodge Clemson from the Atlantic and face Miami at home. The rest of their schedule is the bottom-feeders in the ACC. Win Total — 9.5 — Over is the way to look, but the potential losses are Virginia Tech, Miami, and Notre Dame.

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Looking for more DFS CFB picks and college football DFS? Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world, developed and maintains the FanDuel DFS college football ownership projections. Check out our industry-leading college football DFS projections.

Matt Gajewski graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Economics. Matt has worked in the fantasy industry for the past four years, focusing on DFS and Sports Betting. Matt specializes in NFL, College Football, College Basketball, XFL, and MMA. With GPP victories across the major sports, Matt also qualified for the DraftKings 2020 Sports Betting Championship and won a seat to the College Basketball Tourney Mania final.

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