CHAPEL HILL, NC — North Carolina football will honor 22 seniors before the NC State game Friday. Due to the additional season of COVID giving many players an additional season of eligibility, there are some players on the roster who will be able to return for the 2023 season.
“We had Thomon Fox for two senior days, so it’s a little crazy right now,” UNC head coach Mac Brown said Monday. “So what we did with the guys is, if there’s a chance you can leave, go through Senior Citizens Day so you have one, and then if you want to come back, we got that. Same when the photo from the Victory Bell, when we defeat the Duke, the Elders enter, and it doesn’t matter if you are there twice.
“We all have to look at it and sit down and talk to each of them after the game with Clemson (ACC Championsip) and try to figure out what’s the best way to move forward.”
Here’s who UNC will be honoring on Friday:
OL Brian Anderson, OL William Barnes, OL Noland Brown, DB Don Chapman, LB Parkes Cochrane, DL Chris Collins, TE Will Crowley, DB Storm Duck, DB Val Edwards, DB Obi Egbun, WR Antoine Greene, LB Jake Harkleroad, DB Ladaeson Hollins, D. B. Cam Kelly, P. Ben Kiernan, L. S. Drew Little, O. L. Ed Montilus, W. R. Justin Olson, O. L. Asim Richards, W. R. Geoffrey Saturday, D L. Ray Wohasek, O. L. Ty Murray.
COVID season complicates things. Brown said he was trying to appeal an extra season for Noah Taylor, who will miss the last four games of the regular season with a season-ending knee injury. Brown said they do not expect the appeal to be accepted.
“It’s just crazy with the year of COVID, because you have to remember when they were here in the year of COVID, because the ones that came after that are back to the regular schedule. We’ve been through two years, so it’s going to be delayed for another three years, maybe with some guys. So it’s just crazy,” Brown said.
The transfer portal opens on December 5th, so after figuring out who stays for the extra season, UNC staff need to figure out who is leaving to transfer and who they will be transferring.
“Where (COVID season) helps them if they can’t play at their current location. This gives them an extra year on transition. And I think that’s where it helps the most,” Brown said.
The change for UNC and coach Brown is that they will allow outgoing transfers to stay and play the bowl.
“This is going to be crazy. And I didn’t think about it, but the transfer portal opens on December 5th… I wouldn’t have done it probably two years ago. But I told our guys if you want to transfer and you want to go into the transfer portal and you want to stay here and bowl with us, I agree with that,” Brown said. there is not enough game time here, but you will fight with all your might and help us win the bowl game, that suits me.
“If you’re about young people, you’re about young people and you need to do what’s best for them… So it’s just a decision I made this year, but I wouldn’t have made two years ago.”