While we all have to wait to see them in action, Mack Brown and the Tar Heels are going to be a team to watch in 2020 and beyond.
2019 Tar Heels
2019 was Brown’s first season with the Tar Heels since his original stint from 1988-1997. In 2019, Brown brought a “game by game” mentality to the team which appeared to be just what the tar heels needed. UNC went 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. While that’s not necessarily glamorous, it was a massive improvement to their 2018 season ( 2–9 overall and 1–7 ACC). As we head into 2020 things are looking even better.
2020 Tar Heels
Coming into 2020, UNC is gaining quite a bit of momentum. First off, they are bringing in the no. 19 recruiting class in the nation and no. 3 class in the ACC (per 247 Sports). In addition, I’m expecting a big year out of Sophomore Sam Howell. Howell is a top 15 Heisman candidate according to Fan Duel. Bookies must like what they are seeing from Mac Brown and Howell considering Howell opened up at +4000 and is now +2500 (no. 3 in Fan Duel’s rankings.
While the Tar Heels are going to need more than a solid recruiting class and a Heisman hopeful to be serious contenders in the ACC, I think its a good start. With a quick look at their schedule, I could see the Tar Heels going 9-3. The likes of Miami, Pitt, and UVA are likely to give them some trouble. With that said, this is still an improvement from 2020. Should the trend continue UNC could be playing for an ACC championship in a couple years.
A Look Ahead
It appears to be trending that way. While it’s still pretty early, UNC’s 2021 class is looking pretty damn good. Right now, UNC has the no. 4 class in the nation and number 2 class in the ACC. This class includes 8 4-stars. One of those 4-stars is former Alabama Commit and QB, Drake Maye. In that class is 4-star QB and former Alabama commit Drake Maye.
Even with the addition of May I still see Sam Howell leading UNC. With that said, Maye will arrive when Howell is a Junior. This is perfect timing fot Maye to grow under Howell and then take over.
My last nugget for UNC’s bright future is the nations no. 1 RB in the class of 2021, Trevyon Henderson. Henderson has not comitted anywhere yet, but UNC is in his #Final9
UNC has a lot of competition here but the act they are even in this conversation proves Mack Brown and the Tar Heels are gaining momentum in CFB.
I think we could definitely see a resurgence of UNC football. The combination of Mack Brown’s mentality and clout is just what UNC needed.