Free Safety-Deunta Williams
Strong Safety-Trimane Goddard
Da’Norris Searcy, Matt Merletti, Jonathan Smith
Free Safety- Deunta Williams, ACC Defensive ROY, is the undisputed #1 at this position, and perhaps the anchor of Carolina’s secondary. Williams and Goddard were two of three returning DBs who were among the top five tacklers for the Heels in 2007. Normally this bodes poorly for run defense, but the Heels were pretty okay against the run.
Strong Safety- Trimane Goddard is the old fox of UNC’s defense, and one of this team’s last remaining starters from the Bunting administration. (Even if that was only due to a year and a half of injury setbacks.) He is a relic of a bygone era that all Heels fans must cherish, in a way very similar to free pizza: observe, enjoy, devour, pretend it didn’t happen. By that I mean the Bunting era, not Goddard.
Wrong Goddard, dude.
He may have lost a step after his leg fracture (which is why he moved from FS), but he is still a very good college level strong safety. As one of the few starting seniors, Goddard’s leadership will be paramount to the Heels’ defensive success.
Both safeties will have a good deal of run defense responsibility as well, given the dearth of great quarterbacking in the ACC this year.
Verdict: Carolina is fortunate to have two talented safeties with at least a full season of experience under their belt. But with the possible exception of Da’Norris Searcy, there is no experience behind them; high school talent is all we have to go by for the backups. So hopefully Williams and Goddard can stay healthy and anchor a solid defense for Carolina.