Updated: May 18
The top 10 players returning to the North Carolina Tar Heels for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Sam Howell, QB
2. Storm Duck, CB
3. Chazz Surratt, LB
4. Dazz Newsome, WR
5. Dyami Brown, WR
6. Don Chapman, S
7. Javonte Williams/Michael Carter, RBs
8. Tomon Fox, Edge Defender
9. D.J. Ford, S
10. Jeremiah Gemmel, LB
Honorable Mention: DeAndre Hollins, CB
There aren't many throws that Sam Howell can't make on the football field. He possesses incredible arm strength, an immense amount of accuracy with the right amount of touch and perhaps most importantly, he understands defenses and trusts his arm way above his age.
As a true freshman, he torched defenses for 3,638 passing yards and 38 touchdowns against just 7 interceptions. He's a pro's pro and is on the shortlist for No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, he's that good.
Howell may be the nation's best deep-ball thrower returning to college football.
Duck edges Surratt based solely on the fact that we've only just seen what they can both do on the defensive side of the ball in college football. Duck had a tremendous season in coverage, recording two interceptions and limiting everything after the catch. He's rock rolid no matter where he lined up in the secondary as well, proving that he can go up against anyone.
Surratt is a tackling machine, and though he may miss some tackles in open space, he proved time and time again that he's a force to be reckoned with. He understands defenses, obviously, that quarterback mentality helps him in that regard, and he presents an incredibly gifted pass-rusher.
Newsome and Brown are two of the ACC's best receivers, and to be honest, either one of them paired with Howell represents a duo capable of toppling Trevor Lawrence to Justyn Ross as the best QB-WR combination in the conference.
Chapman and Ford at safety are another rock-solid combination. Ford flies around like a man on a mission while Chapman finished second on the team with two interceptions a year ago. The running back duo of Javonte Williams and Michael Carter nearly toppled 2,000 yards a season ago as they're each incredibly talented backs out of the backfield who are crazy difficult to tackle one-on-one.