"He will not be with us this fall," head coach John Bunting said Thursday afternoon, declining to provide specifics on the reason for Mitchell's departure. "Khalif's a good kid who has a lot of potential both on and off the field."
The 6-foot-6, 297-pound lineman signed with UNC in 2003 out of Virgnia Beach
(Va.) First Colonial. After prepping at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave, he enrolled at Chapel Hill in January 2004.
Mitchell started two games a freshman, recording 15 tackles, including nine
primary stops and six assists. He also had 4.5 tackles for losses,
1.5 sacks, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and one quarterback
hurry. As a sophomore in 2005, he recorded 13 tackles, four quarterback hurries and
recovered two fumbles.
When asked if Mitchell could return to the team in the spring or later, Bunting replied "There will be a distinct opportunity for him to return."
Bunting added in a Thursday afternoon press release, "Our football program will stay in close contact with him. He
will have the opportunity to return, but he will not be on the team this
With Mitchell no longer on the 2006 depth chart, Bunting outlined what changes would be made and who would need to step in and fill the void.
"We'll move [Kentwan] Balmer inside, and Cam Thomas is going to get playing time - he knows that," the Tar Heel coach said. "We expect a big season out of Melik Brown, which allows us to move some people around.
"We hope that some of our freshmen can help us inside and outside. Darius Powell, Tavares Brown looks the part and can help us inside or outside. We need Hilee Taylor healthy."