The two starters here, Julius Peppers and Joey Evans, should form one the best tandems in the ACC, if not the nation. Peppers did not participate in spring practice this year. UNC basketball took its toll on the 6-6, 285-pound defensive lineman, who let a chance to enter the NFL draft to play another year at UNC.
Peppers would have likely gone in a high round of the draft – he lead the nation in quarterback sacks last season. In the spring, he concentrated on getting back into football shape, in particular, hitting the weights.
On the other side of the line is Joey Evans, a senior who appears ready for a great final campaign. Coach Bunting says, "Joey Evans has had a steady spring; probably our most consistent player, with the exception of Ryan Sims, on defense… Joey Evans has a real steady spring, I am really happy with him. He should have a banner year."
If there is a concern at defensive end, it is with the depth at that position, which is largely untested. Jermicus Banks, a 6-3, 247-pound redshirt freshman, backs up Joey Evans. Banks was a highly recruited high school player, but has yet to see game action at the college level.
Backing up Julius Peppers on the other side is 6-3, 257-pound sophomore Issac Mooring. Mooring saw very limited time at defensive end last season.