The Tar Heels flourished in the second half of the 2013 season, winning six of their final seven games, including a 39-17 victory over Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. The Tar Heels were one of the country's youngest teams this past season, starting 10 freshmen and sophomores on offense and defense, and they should begin to benefit from their early lumps in coach Larry Fedora's tenure. UNC will miss departing tight end Eric Ebron
and center Russell Bodine
, who left for the draft as juniors, but quarterback Marquise Williams
is coming back, along with three rising juniors at wide receiver. Fedora hasn't yet named a successor to former offensive coordinator Blake Anderson, who was named Arkansas State's coach, or tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Walt Bell, who was hired as the Red Wolves' offensive coordinator.
For more on how the Tar Heels will look in 2014, check out UNC's recruiting profile and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.
Former Boise State coach Chris Petersen inherits a pretty good situation in Seattle, as the Huskies are expected to bring back seven starters on both offense and defense. UW will undoubtedly miss departing quarterback Keith Price
, junior tailback Bishop Sankey
and junior tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins
, who are entering the NFL draft. But rising sophomore Cyler Miles
has shown signs of being a big-time quarterback, and the Huskies will bring back a solid corps of receivers, especially if rising senior Kasen Williams
recovers quickly from a broken leg. The Huskies will have to replace three of their starting defensive backs, but returning linebacker Shaq Thompson
, cornerback Marcus Peters
and defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha
are three of the best defenders in the Pac-12.
For more on how the Huskies will look in 2014, check out Washington's recruiting profile and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.
After junior receivers Sammy Watkins
and Martavis Bryant
left for the NFL draft, and record-setting quarterback Tajh Boyd
exhausted his eligibility, the Tigers are going to have to replace most of their firepower on that side of the ball. It might have been worse if offensive coordinator Chad Morris had left for a head-coaching job, but he's expected to be back at Clemson for at least one more season. Clemson's quarterback battle this coming season will be interesting, as coach Dabo Swinney will have to choose a starter from among rising senior Cole Stoudt
, sophomore Chad Kelly
and incoming freshman Deshaun Watson, one of the country's top recruits, who has verbally committed to the Tigers. On defense, junior end Vic Beasley
decided to return for his senior season, while cornerback Bashaud Breeland
left a year early.
For more on how the Tigers will look in 2014, check out Clemson's recruiting profile and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.