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Mack Brown impressed by true freshman tackles, including five-star Zach Rice

by:Austin Brezina02/23/22


North Carolina head coach Mack Brown had high praise for his incoming freshman tackles after only seeing them in preseason workouts. With a 2022 recruiting class ranked 10th in the nation by On3’s Consensus Rankings, Brown has been impressed with five-star tackle Zach Rice as he joins veterans on the offensive line.

Mack Brown on his freshman tackles

Trevyon Green and Zach Rice have looked really really good in the preseason workout,” Brown said. “They haven’t hit anybody but from what we’ve seen they sure passed the test for work ethic and how they’ve been and their attitudes. Trevyon [is] 6-foot-7, 355, and Zach is 6-foot-6, 315. The guys can move their feet so it will be fun to watch them when we start next week.”

As he continued to run down his roster and highlight his players, Brown detailed the remainder of his offensive line and their veteran leaders early in the season.

Corey Gaynor — he had a hurt knee at Miami — he seems to be fine,” continued Brown. “He’s working really really well. You can see he’s 6’4″, 309. He and Brian Anderson have shown great leadership, Brian’s healthy. I don’t think he was ever healthy last year. They’re both showing outstanding leadership of that offensive line. Ed Montilus looks different, he looks really good — he’s stepping up as a leader as well. So we feel like those guys will help us with leadership roles. William Barnes will play guard and tackle, and Quiron Johnson will play center and guard. It’s obvious with three older centers we’ve gotta find a young center moving forward.”

Rice is one of just two five-star recruits joining the ACC this season, per On3’s Consensus Rankings. Clemson is the only other school in their conference with a five-star prospect in quarterback Cade Klubnik.

Mack Brown and the Tar Heels entered the 2021 season ranked in the top-25, but quickly failed to live up to the expectations placed on them. North Carolina finished the season with a 6-7 overall record, and a 3-5 record in ACC play.