Chapel Hill is glowing with high hopes for a rebound season in 2011.
Robert Quinn, Greg Little and Marvin Austin were ruled ineligible for accepting improper benefits before the start of last year's season.
The Tar Heels were looking to become BCS bound before this incident, with talent and hype swarming the team. However, Carolina faltered without its star athletes and clinged to just an 8-5 record.
UNC fought, but it could not come away with a win in big games. The absence of Quinn, Little and Austin was heavily felt.
It was the year of what could have been.
But with 10 returning starters on defense and a ton of fresh, new talent on the offensive side of the ball, North Carolina is looking to make up for 2010.
Here are the seven best offensive players on the Tar Heel's roster.
Casey Barth is an outstanding field goal kicker and is headed into his senior year with North Carolina.
He made 19 of 22 (86.4 percent) attempts in 2010, nailing his career-long 49-yarder against North Carolina State.
Barth was responsible for 95 of the team's 329 points—28.9 percent overall.
The 5'11", 180-pounder from Wilmington, NC has made 50 of 62 career field goal attempts (80.6 percent) and 105 of 106 extra points (99.1 percent). H has successfully sent through seven 40-plus yard field goals.
Sophomore quarterback Bryn Renner is expected to take over T.J. Yates' position.
Although he didn't see the field much in 2010, Renner has proved he has what it takes to play in the ACC. He passed for 3,123 yards and 35 touchdowns his senior year in high school, rushing for 474.
He has outstanding accuracy and can thread the needle, but is best when throwing the deep ball. At 6'3", Renner stands tall in the pocket and his legs give him the option to take it on the ground.
Jheranie Boyd is a commanding receiver that does an excellent job creating separation and running routes.
Boyd's size (6'2", 190 pounds) and strength provides him the ability to break tackles and take it the whole way. He's more apt to power his way through a tackle than he is to put a juke move on a defender, but enjoys making the opponent pay when they don't wrap up well with his incredible balance.
His hands are reliable and he has been known to come up in the clutch.
Boyd saw limited playing time in 2010, catching 14 balls for 310 yards and three touchdowns. He'll be expected to take on more of a load this season.
The 6'3", 185-pound junior out of Vanceboro, NC is prepared to improve as the team's second-leading receiver from last season.
Highsmith had 25 receptions for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2010. This was a little bit of a drop off compared to '09, when he caught 37 balls for 425 yards as a freshman.
However, he is a huge asset to Carolina's offense and will need to step up and fill his expectations for the boys in blue to be successful.
The 6'7", 330-pound monster also known as Travis Bond will be gearing up for his junior season as a Tar Heel.
He is expected to take over former guard Alan Pelc's position.
Bond only has four starts in his career, but don't take him lightly. His massive size, strength, intelligence and athleticism sets him up with great advantages over his opponent.
He'll be an impact player on what should be a stellar offensive line. Don't be surprised to see him drafted fairly high in 2013.
According to ESPN's ACC blog, North Carolina is projected to have the best offensive line in the conference.
This mostly has to do with Jonathan Cooper being on the squad.
The upcoming junior has a career 22 starts, providing experience and security for Carolina's young quarterback and backfield. He stands at 6'3", 310 pounds and is a profound leader at his position.
The NFL's draft scout website has Cooper as the No. 5 overall guard in his class.
Dwight Jones led all Tar Heel receivers with 62 receptions for 946 yards and four touchdowns—good for fourth in the ACC.
The senior loves to go over the middle to make the difficult catch in traffic, but his size gives him the ability to be eligible for the deep ball—a perfect fit for Bryn Renner.
Jones uses his superior concentration and soft hands to combine for play-making talents. He doesn't have blazing speed (4.6 second 40-yard dash) but is able to get open and make defenders miss with his quick feet and athleticism.
At 6'4", 220 pounds, Jones is a physical, tough player that has tons of versatility and will once again be one of the top receivers in the ACC.
According to the NFL draft site, Jones is projected to be selected in the first round (23rd overall) to the Philadelphia Eagles.