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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: North Carolina
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  One of the UNC football program's returning pass catchers has a pretty significant road to recovery during the offseason. With the departures of Josh Downs and Antoine Green, the UNC football program's wide receiver room will feature junior J. J. Jones - when he heals. Jones recorded 23 catches for 423 yards and two scores during his sophomore campaign. On social media, Jones announced that he underwent hip surgery. This is a rather significant surgery, especially at a young age, as his road to recovery is expected to take some time. However, based on his Instagram caption, the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina native seems determined to get back to full strength as soon as possible. - Keepingitheel.com

Jr/2025 WR J.J. JonesNorth Carolina
News Source: Keepingitheel.com
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  Mack Brown and the UNC football program continue to do well in the transfer portal, as they land yet another commitment to add to the mix. 10. That's now the number of players that have committed to the UNC football program out of the transfer portal. After visiting Chapel Hill over the weekend, former Georgia State safety Antavious Lane has decided to transfer to the University of North Carolina. He was so impressed with his visit that he elected to forgo any other planned visits elsewhere that he had lined up.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound safety will head to North Carolina after graduating from Georgia State in May and will have a year of eligibility plus a COVID year remaining. In the new world of the transfer portal, each and every game could be an audition of sorts for players across the country. For Lane, it certainly helped that he had a strong game against the Tar Heels this season, as he recorded six total tackles and two forced fumbles. Lane was second on the Georgia State team last season with 87 tackles. He also finished the season with two interceptions. - Keeping It Heel


rSr/2024 FS Antavious LaneNorth Carolina
News Source: Keeping It Heel
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  The UNC football program received some good news, as one of their standout offensive linemen will return for the 2023 season. On Monday morning, UNC football head coach Mack Brown spoke to the media. The long-time NCAA head coach spoke about various topics, including the transfer portal as well as some updates regarding players on the current roster. One of the updates surrounded Corey Gaynor, the veteran offensive lineman who earned All-ACC Honorable Mention in his lone season as a Tar Heel. He started all 14 games last season and played every single meaningful snap for the Tar Heels' offense, as he quickly rose as a leader on last year's squad. Fortunately, North Carolina will get Gaynor back, as Brown announced that he will return for the 2023 season. - Keeping It Heel

rSr/2024 C Corey GaynorNorth Carolina
News Source: Keeping It Heel
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  Drake Maye has a new weapon to work with, as an in-state product will be returning home to finish his college career with the UNC football program. The UNC football program's wide receiver room will look a lot different next season, as the Tar Heels will have to replace star wideouts Josh Downs and Antoine Green. On Wednesday, North Carolina received a big-time commitment from one of the best wide receivers available in the transfer portal.

Devontez "Tez" Walker announced that he will be joining the UNC football program. The Charlotte, North Carolina native returns to his home state to finish out his final two seasons of college eligibility. Walker originally signed with NC Central to begin his college career but transferred to Kent State after NCCU's 2020 season was canceled. After his breakout 2022 season, Walker became a highly sought-after player in the transfer portal. He became a top weapon for Kent State's offense, as he recorded 58 catches for 921 yards and 11 scores. His most notable performance came against the Georgia Bulldogs, where he recorded seven receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown against one of the nation's best defensive units. - Keeping It Heel


rJr/2025 WR Devontez WalkerNorth Carolina
News Source: Keeping It Heel
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  Mack Brown confirmed on Monday that standout linebacker Cedric Gray will be returning to the UNC football program for the 2023 season. The UNC football program announced some big news on Monday, as Mack Brown told reporters that star linebacker Cedric Gray will be returning to the team for his senior season. This is major news for the Tar Heels, especially given that the team has lost some quality defensive players via the transfer portal. Gray was undoubtedly North Carolina's best player on that side of the football and should be in line for a standout senior season. As a junior, Gray led the UNC football program in tackles (137), tackles for loss (10.0), forced fumbles (three), and fumble recoveries (two). He earned First-Team All-ACC and Sporting News Second-Team All-America honors for his efforts.

Not only was Gray one of the best defensive players in the ACC, but has also earned a spot among the nation's best at his position. Heading into his senior season, Gray should draw plenty of preseason recognition. When discussing Gray's return, Brown told the media that his star linebacker has some unfinished business left to take care of in Chapel Hill. "Cedric Gray has told me that he is 100 percent coming back, which is great news for us and in North Carolina, because he's one of the best players in the country. And he wants to come back and make sure he has a chance to finish this thing right." - Keeping It Heel.com


Sr/2024 ILB Cedric GrayNorth Carolina
News Source: Keeping It Heel.com
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  2022 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM: OL - Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina (Jr., OL - Lakeland, Fla.),...A two-time All-Sun Belt second-team the last two seasons, Lampkin picked up first-team all-conference accolades this year. Making the move from guard to center this year, Lampkin has made 11 starts to extend his streak to 36 consecutive starts for his CCU career. Named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, the junior was the top-graded offensive lineman for CCU in seven of the 11 games on the year, grading out at 85 percent or higher in all 11 contests.

To date, he has totaled 35 knockdown blocks this year, including a season-high 11 in the season-opening win over Army (Sept. 3). He also had three takedown blocks in wins at Georgia State (Sept. 22), at ULM (Oct. 8) and against ODU (Oct. 15), and has helped lead CCU's offense to the fifth-best rushing offense in the SBC at 166.5 yards per contest despite missing the top three running backs most of the season. - Coastal Carolina Football


Sr/2024 C Willie LampkinNorth Carolina
News Source: Coastal Carolina Football
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  2022 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL THIRD TEAM: DB - Antavious Lane, Georgia State (RS Jr., DB - West Palm Beach, Fla.),...Three-time All-Sun Belt safety ... 2022 Preseason first-team All-Sun Belt and Watch Lists for Bronko Nagurski Trophy & Jim Thorpe Award...First-team All-Sun Belt in 2021, second-team in 2020 and third-team in 2022 ... Leads the Sun Belt and ranks No. 18 in FBS in solo tackles (5.2 per game)...Tied for third among active FBS players with 11 career interceptions; second with 0.30 career interceptions per game ... Sixth in GSU history with 226 career tackles ... Career-high 15 tackles in win over Georgia Southern... Forced two fumbles vs. North Carolina ... Had an interception and pass breakup vs. Southern Miss, helping the GSU defense set school record by allowing just 202 total yards. - Georgia State Football

rSr/2024 FS Antavious LaneNorth Carolina
News Source: Georgia State Football
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  North Carolina coach Mack Brown announced the hiring of Chip Lindsey as the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Thursday. Lindsey will be entrusted to guide quarterback Drake Maye, who could enter next season as a Heisman Trophy favorite and potentially be a top NFL draft pick in 2024. Lindsey comes to Chapel Hill after serving as the offensive coordinator at UCF this season. It was his only season with the Knights, but marked the third year he worked in that capacity on a Gus Malzahn staff. Lindsey was Auburn's offensive coordinator in 2017-18 during Malzahn's tenure on the Plains.

"Chip is well-versed in UNC's offensive style of play and he has a wealth of experience working with some of the greatest offensive minds in the country," Brown said in a statement. "You can see that in the way his offenses play. Chip is multiple in his approach and has the unique skill of adapting based on personnel. He's developed quarterbacks at a high level including two current NFL QBs in Nick Mullens and Jarrett Stidham." Lindsey's offense at UCF ranked 11th in total offense averaging 480.6 yards per game, eighth in rushing offense (236.1 ypg), and 26th in scoring offense at 34.4 points per game. Lindsey replaces Phil Longo, who held the position for four seasons before leaving to take a similar role at Wisconsin. - Raleigh News Observer


rSo/2026 QB Drake MayeNorth Carolina
News Source: Raleigh News Observer
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  2022 ALL-MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM: Wide Receiver - Devontez Walker, Kent State,...Walker earns his first all-conference accolade after stepping into a starting role this season. He posted one of the finest seasons in the MAC and set the program record with 11 touchdown catches. That mark tied for the MAC lead and was sixth in the FBS. His 921 yards led the conference and is third-most in program history. He also finished amongst the leaders in receptions (58) and yards per catch (15.9). - Kent State Football

rJr/2025 WR Devontez WalkerNorth Carolina
News Source: Kent State Football
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  2022 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM: K Ryan Coe, Cincinnati, Sr.,...Snagging All-AAC Second Team honors were: junior wide receiver Tyler Scott, senior offensive tackle James Tunstall, senior safety Ja'Von Hicks and senior kicker Ryan Coe. - Cincinnati Football

rSr/2024 K Ryan CoeNorth Carolina
News Source: Cincinnati Football
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  North Carolina receiver Josh Downs is opting out of the Holiday Bowl against No. 15 Oregon to prepare for a jump to the NFL draft. Downs announced his decision in a social media post Friday, less than a week after he had 11 catches for 100 yards in the Tar Heels' loss to No. 10 Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. He led the team with 94 catches for 1,029 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games.

Downs ranks third in the Bowl Subdivision ranks with 8.5 catches per game, while his 11 TD catches is tied for seventh. His top stretch came when he had a run of four straight 100-yard games with at least nine catches each time. That included 15 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown at Virginia and 11 catches for 154 yards and three scores in a win at Wake Forest that clinched the ACC's Coastal Division title. Downs had ranked 10th in FBS in 2021 with 1,335 yards receiving to go with eight scores. - AP College Football


Jr/2023 WR *Josh DownsNorth Carolina
News Source: AP College Football
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  2022 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION: WR - Nate McCollum, Georgia Tech, 37 votes,...Receiving honorable mention honors, McCollum had a breakout season in which he hauled in 60 receptions for 655 yards and three touchdowns. He finished fifth in the league in receptions, 10th in receiving yards and tied for fifth in 100-yard receiving games. He joined just two players in the ACC to have multiple games with at least eight receptions, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. His 60 receptions mark the most by a Georgia Tech receiver in a season since Calvin Johnson (2006). - Georgia Tech Football

rJr/2025 WR Nate McCollumNorth Carolina
News Source: Georgia Tech Football
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  North Carolina coach Mack Brown said Friday he does not expect quarterback Drake Maye to leave the Tar Heels this offseason through the transfer portal. "I don't think Drake will go anywhere because he's a Carolina family," Brown said at a news conference before Saturday's ACC championship game between Clemson and North Carolina. However, Brown said he had yet to have conversations with his players about their future plans. "This game is really important to us, so our coaches have been hesitant to say, 'Hey Ross, are you leaving, man? I know you've got to play Saturday night, but are you out of here? Are you going to play or are you going to stay?" Brown said. "So we'll have some guys playing tomorrow night that will probably be leaving on Monday, and that discussion will either come Sunday or Monday morning." Maye ranks fourth among FBS players in both passing yards per game (320.6) and passing touchdowns (35). The redshirt freshman is not eligible to enter the NFL draft until after the 2023 season. - Birmingham News

rSo/2026 QB Drake MayeNorth Carolina
News Source: Birmingham News
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  2022 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM: QB - Drake Maye, North Carolina, 177 votes,...In his first season as a starter, Maye has completed 298-of-440 passes (67.7%) for 3,847 yards and 35 TDs. The 3,847 yards rank second in the Power 5 and are already UNC's single-season record, while the 35 TDs are tied for second in the Power 5. Maye also leads the team in rushing with 629 yards and six TDs. His 373 yards per game of total offense lead the nation and his 41 TDs responsible for rank third amongst Power 5 players. - North Carolina Football

rSo/2026 QB Drake MayeNorth Carolina
News Source: North Carolina Football
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  2022 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM: WR - Josh Downs, North Carolina, 184 votes,...Downs has continued as one of the nation's top receivers. Despite missing two games this season, he has caught 83 passes for 929 yards and 11 TDs. The 83 receptions lead the ACC and rank fifth among Power 5 receivers and his 11 TDs are tied for second in the league and tied for sixth nationally. Downs leads the conference with five 100-yard receiving games and set the ACC record for most receptions over a three-game span, when he posted 37 catches against Pitt, Virginia and Wake Forest. - North Carolina Football

Jr/2023 WR *Josh DownsNorth Carolina
News Source: North Carolina Football
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