No. 25: Ryan Switzer
*Publisher's note: THI is ranking the top 25 football players in UNC history, gauging each player solely on their careers as Tar Heels. NFL accomplishments do not factor into these rankings.
Name: Ryan Switzer
Jersey #: 3
Honors: Two-time first-team All-America 2013 & 2015; Four-time All-ACC, first-team specialist in 2013, second-team in 2015, third-team in 2014 & 2016; First-team WR in 2016, second-team in 2015; CFPA Punt Returner of the Year 2013; Belk Bowl MVP 2013; Patterson Medal 2017.
Notable Stats: UNC school-record 243 career receptions; Single-team school-record 96 receptions in 2016; UNC-record 2,907 career receiving yards; 1,112 receiving yards in 2016 is third all-time at UNC; 19 career receiving touchdowns; 99 career punt returns for 1,082 yards, UNC-record seven punt returns for touchdowns.
In Closing: Upon closely examining Switzer’s numbers, he might be one of the most underrated players in UNC football history because he still doesn’t make many of these lists. But when you look closely at his accomplishments and understand how he is one of the gutsier players in recent UNC history, he belongs without question. Switzer was fast, shifty, could explode on a dime, had a penchant for making tough chain-moving catches, and played with moxie that was infectious onto his teammates.
He is the best returner in UNC history, and his senior campaign might be one of the top handful of seasons ever by a Tar Heel. Switzer arrived at UNC undersized at 5-foot-8 and not expected to do much in the ACC, but he erupted onto the scene as a punt returner, setting an ACC mark by returning punts for scores in three straight games midway through his first season. He turned himself into an NFL player by getting better each season as a receiver, and he ranks among the best in UNC history there, as well, and not just statistically.