North Carolina has welcomed back a veteran who could wind up paying big dividends in 2012, as Todd Harrelson has re-joined the Tar Heels for what will be his fifth-year senior season.
A UNC official confirmed to Tar Heel Illustrated Wednesday that Harrelson has returned to the team, and another source confirmed that he's taking part in offseason workouts with the team and will be involved in spring football.
Harrelson was indefinitely suspended during the 2011 season by previous UNC head coach Everett Withers and he was strongly considering transferring to another program, but now Harrelson gets a clean slate under Larry Fedora and his new position coach, Gunter Brewer.
After spending the 2011 season attempting a move at cornerback due to UNC's need at the position, Harrelson will be returning to his more natural wide receiver in 2012, where the Tar Heels may very well need a veteran with playmaking potential like him.
Carolina is losing senior Dwight Jones from last year's team, but now they'll have three senior wide receivers in 2012 in Harrelson, Erik Highsmith, and Jheranie Boyd.
Although Harrelson's career hasn't exactly been spectacular---he heads into the 2012 season with just three catches---he made one of the biggest receptions in Tar Heel bowl game history back in 2010, snagging a 28-yarder from T.J. Yates in the final minute of the Music City Bowl against Tennessee, helping Carolina tie the game and ultimately win in overtime.
With the Tar Heels preparing to head into the 'spread' offensive scheme, which often includes four and five-wide sets, UNC may need a player like Harrelson badly. He's got a chance to finally make a significant impact in his final season of collegiate eligibility.
Tar Heel Illustrated will be closely watching Harrelson and the other Tar Heel wideouts this spring.