CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Head coach Larry Fedora is ready for Jalen Dalton to take off his redshirt.
The freshman defensive lineman - UNC's highest rated recruit in its 2015 signing class - has yet to see the field this season. Recent injuries to a defensive unit that already had limited little depth will likely change that on Saturday night against Wake Forest.
Fedora said the injuries and practice production both factor into the decision to play Dalton.
"The last three weeks we've been talking about him in staff meetings because he's progressed really well and has come on in the last three weeks," Fedora said. "So his practice habits and they way he's been practicing warrants that on top of that we've had some guys get beat up. With both of those situations, he's definitely going to play."
Defensive line coach Tray Scott said he's seen improvements in Dalton as well.
"He's done a great job of progressing," Scott said. "Jalen can play really all four positions and the thing that I love about it is he's really approached everything like a student of the game. He and Strowbridge, even Aaron Crawford, all those young guys every single week will prepare as if they're burning their redshirt. They're trying to prepare just in case and that's how I like it."
The team policy dictates that Dalton isn't allowed to do media interviews until he's played in his first game. It appears he's about to record that benchmark.
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