UNC DT Ethan Farmer cleared to play

North Carolina defensive tackle Ethan Farmer has been cleared to play by the NCAA after having his eligibility issue resolved, the school announced Thursday.

Farmer, who started 13 games last season, is the only returning starting defensive lineman on the team. This is especially big news, considering fellow linemen Shawn Underwood and Greg Webb are no longer part of the program.

During the ACC coaches' call Wednesday, coach Larry Fedora described just how important Farmer is to the line when asked what the Tar Heels would do without him.

"There's the most experienced guy that we've had in the interior defensive line, going into his senior year. It will just make an opportunity for some younger guys to

step up and grow up even quicker."

While the Tar Heels got good news on that front, they still will be without four suspended defensive players Saturday against Liberty. Starting cornerbacks Desmond Lawrence and Brian Walker, redshirt freshman Donnie Miles and true freshman M.J. Stewart are all out.