Freshman defensive tackle Brandon Willis left the UNC football team on Thursday, coach Butch Davis said.
Willis, a prep All-American from Duncan, S.C., will move with his father, to southern California, Davis said. Willis, a 6-3, 270-pound defensive lineman, enrolled at UNC in January and had a chance to play right away given UNC's depth issues at defensive tackle.
Davis did not say where Willis planned to continue his college career, only that Willis was moving out west with his father, Gary, who had recently found a new job in California. Since Willis had already enrolled in classes at UNC, he will have to sit out a season under NCAA transfer rules.
Willis committed to Southern California coach Lane Kiffin when Kiffin was the head coach at Tennessee. When Kiffin left Tennessee in January, Willis changed his mind and enrolled at UNC.
The Heels have depth concerns at defensive tackle with the uncertainty of Marvin Austin's eligibility and the loss of Cam Thomas to the NFL. Junior Tydreke Powell and junior Quinton Coples, who moved from defensive end, have been working with the first-team defense at the two tackle positions.
Jordan Nix, a junior, and Jared McAdoo, a redshirt freshman, are the other two tackles on the depth chart.
Austin, who has started 25 games, has been working with the second team while UNC awaits the NCAA's decision about his status. Austin was interviewed by the NCAA in July about potential improper contact with an agent.