Senior defensive tackle Shawn Underwood, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Greg Webb and sophomore linebacker Clint Heaven are no longer on the North Carolina football team, a team spokesman said on Wednesday.
All three players were on scholarship, and Underwood was listed on the Tar Heels' preseason depth chart as a possible starter at defensive tackle. The status of another scholarship player, sophomore offensive guard J.J. Patterson, is unclear, said Kevin Best, the UNC football spokesman.
Patterson will not be among the 105 players who practice with the team on Friday when UNC beings preseason camp. The loss of Underwood and Webb, meanwhile, leaves Ethan Farmer, a senior, as the only remaining player who ended the spring on the depth chart at defensive tackle.
Had he remained a part of the team, Underwood would have entered the preseason competing with Farmer for a starting position. Among UNC's personnel losses, the departure of Underwood is the most significant. He appeared in nine games last season, and in 11 games in 2012, when he started five times at defensive tackle.
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Underwood was among the most experienced players on the Tar Heels' defensive line, which already is tasked with replacing two starters - Kareem Martin and Tim Jackson - from last season.
Citing student privacy laws, Best said he couldn't say why Underwood and Webb are no longer on the team. Heaven, who as a freshman played in five games last season, is transferring to Northern Iowa, Best said.