RB Antonio Williams is one of several talented skill position players that new head coach Mack Brown can lean on this fall
Hope and change are often intertwined. When things aren't going right, the only way to sell the masses on hope is to make a change.
That is exactly what happened at North Carolina. Larry Fedora may very well be a good head coach, but with just five wins in two seasons, the Heels needed to go in another direction. So for Carolina, it is out with the old and in with the... older.
Here are three reasons for optimism regarding North Carolina football in 2019.
1. The return of Mack Brown
He’s 67 years old and he hasn’t coached since 2013. Even in his heyday, he wasn’t known as the best Xs and Os guy in college football. But he is someone that has not only had success on the big stage, he has won big in Chapel Hill once before and knows his way around the state of North Carolina. Moreover, he is beloved by all, especially high school coaches across the land. Brown will welcome in a solid 2019 recruiting class and the Heels are already off to a good start for '20.
2. Offensive skill talent
UNC needs to solidify the quarterback position, but there are some exciting options at running back and receiver. The triumvirate of Antonio Williams, Jordon Brown, and Michael Carter gives the new coaching stuff ball carriers that can ease the pressure off the passing game. And out wide, rising junior Dazz Newsome looks capable of developing into a No. 1 receiver while Dyami Brown hopes to build off a very nice freshman season.
3. The secondary
Strong safety J.K. Britt was the team’s second-leading tackler and he is out of eligibility. But everyone else in the defensive backfield returns, including senior-to-be Myles Dorn at free safety and cornerback Trey Morrison, who received votes for ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Tar Heels were decent at defending the pass in 2018 and should be even more adept at coverage in '19.
— Written by Jon Kinne, who has been part of the Athlon Contributor Network for three years, covering the ACC and Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.