Where UNC football ranks in USA TODAY Sports post-spring rankings

The spring practices are in the books for college football as the focus turns to the later summer when camps begin and then eventually the regular season.

As we continue to wait, the USA TODAY has released its post-spring rankings for a very early top 25. This updated version takes into account the spring practices as well as recent additions and subtractions from the transfer portal.

For the North Carolina Tar Heels, they got some praise from the publication as they checked in at No. 16 in the rankings. Here is what Paul Myerberg and Erick Smith of the USA TODAY Sports had to say about the Tar Heels:

Scroll to continue with content

Sophomore Drake Maye makes UNC a dark-horse contender in the ACC after throwing for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns in his first year as the starter. While the offense will have a different look under new coordinator Chip Lindsey — look for the running game to have more of a downhill feel — Maye can carry UNC through an early learning curve. A more pressing issue is the secondary. The Tar Heels will be helped by transfer cornerbacks Alijah Huzzie (East Tennessee State) and Armani Chatman (Virginia Tech), though Chatman missed the spring due to injury.

We saw the UNC football program get off to a 9-1 start last season, punching a ticket to the ACC Championship before losing to Clemson. They closed out the year on a four-game losing streak, ending it with a loss to Oregon in the Holiday Bowl.

In what will likely be Drake Maye’s last year in college, the Tar Heels have the chance to make it count and not waste it away. Let’s see if they can do that.

Follow us @TarHeelsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels news, notes and opinions.

Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire