North Carolina defensive tackle Ethan Farmer has been cleared to play for the Tar Heels in 2014, the school announced on Thursday.
Farmer was listed as an "OR" starter on the depth chart, as the coaching staff awaited word on the senior lineman's eligiblity due to an undisclosed NCAA issue.
"We are thankful to have Ethan cleared to play and I know he's excited to have this behind him," Larry Fedora said Thursday. “Ethan is our only experienced player on the defensive line and we'll be counting on him for senior leadership in that group. He has practiced hard during the preseason and has not let this situation affect his preparation for the season."
A starter in all 13 games last season and two-year contributor, Farmer is one of the most experienced players on defense. His absence would have been another setback for a defense that lost four defensive backs (including two starters) due to a one-game suspension for team rules. The defense is expected to be back at full strength when San Diego State comes to Chapel Hill on Sept. 6.
North Carolina and Liberty kick off at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Tar Heels, ranked No. 23 in the AP and Coaches Poll, are heavy favorites in the game (Check out our Expert Picks here).