"I am excited to play for a great coach at an awesome school and be close to home and my family," Kessler wrote on Instagram.
Auburn had been considered a leading target for Kessler, until his eventual commitment to UNC. Kessler is from Fairburn, Georgia.
On Friday, UNC forward Garrison Brooks entered the transfer portal after playing four years with the Tar Heels.
Another Tar Heel, Sterling Manley, has also announced plans to transfer, and freshman Day'Ron Sharpe is headed to the NBA draft while yet another big man, Armando Bacot, will test the waters of the draft, leaving the door open for a return to UNC.
Third big man announces departure from UNC basketball
During his first news conference as UNC's new head coach, Hubert Davis said he is communicating with Kessler and made it a point to say he wanted the 7-foot-1 center to return to Chapel Hill.
WATCH: Davis hopes to re-recruit Walker Kessler to UNC