Heel Tough Blog: 2019 Final Grades

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

With the Military Bowl win for the Tar Heels, the 2019 season is officially in the books. There were some ups and downs for this team, but in the end there is a lot of confidence about where this program is headed as they progress towards 2020. To wrap up the 2019 season, it’s time to hand out the final grades for each position for the 2019 season.

James Guillory- USA Today Sports

Quarterbacks: A+

# 7 Sam Howell (Fr.): 952 snaps, 259-422, 3,641 yds, 38-7 TD-INT, 94 rush, 35 yds, TD

#13 Vincent Amendola (Fr.): 36 snaps, 3-4, 48 yds, 0-0 TD-INT

#10 Jace Ruder (RFr.): 8 snaps, 1-2, 7 yds, 0-0 TD-INT, 4 rush, 22 yds

#12 Donovan Brewington (Fr.): DNP

#18 Caleb Russell (Fr.): DNP

Enough can’t be said about the season that Howell put together as a true freshman. Howell set the school record for touchdown passes in a season, the true freshman record for touchdown passes in a season and tied the regular season ACC record for touchdown passes in season, tying Jameis Winston’s mark set during his Heisman season back in 2013. There is a reason why Howell is already being talked about as an early 2020 Heisman candidate. Ruder started the season as the primary backup before going down with a knee injury in the game against Appalachian State. While he may not have played much, he provided an important spark for Howell and the offense in the game at Wake Forest earlier this year. Amendola saw some garbage time snaps against Mercer, NC State and Temple and showed the staff a lot of improvement since his arrival in the fall.

Brett Davis- USA Today Sports

Running Backs: A

# 8 Michael Carter (Jr.): 479 snaps, 177 rush, 1,003 yds, 3 TD, 21 rec, 154 yds, 2 TD

#25 Javonte Williams (So.): 384 snaps, 166 rush, 933 yds, 5 TD, 17 rec, 176 yds, TD

#24 Antonio Williams (Sr.): 128 snaps, 48 rush, 322 yds, 3 TD, 2 rec, 4 yds

#23 Josh Henderson (Fr.): 24 snaps, 18 rush, 127 yds, 0 TD

#34 British Brooks (RFr.): 4 snaps, 3 rush, 10 yds, TD

#62 Braxton Link (Fr.): DNP

The Tar Heels came as close to having two 1,000 yard rushers as they have since the last time that feat was accomplished in 1993. This unit showed major improvement from the last few years, behind the play of Carter, who became the first Tar Heel running back to run for over 1,000 yards in a season since Elijah Hood, and Javonte Williams. The 1-2 punch combined for 2,266 yards of total offense and 11 touchdowns on 381 combined touches as they helped to bring a rushing attack that was lacking consistency over the past few seasons exactly that and made it a crucial part of the success of this offense, primarily early in the year. While Antonio Williams didn’t play as big of a role as once thought, he was an important piece of this backfield, especially late in the season when Javonte Williams was banged up. Henderson received some garbage time reps late in the season, but showed he is setting up well to be a factor as the No. 3 running back in behind Carter and Javonte Williams next season. Brooks scored his first career touchdown in the game against Mercer, but was more recognized for his impact on special teams.

Brett Davis- USA Today Sports

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B+

# 2 Dyami Brown (So.): 864 snaps, 51 rec, 1,034 yds, 12 TD, 1 rush, 2 yds

# 5 Dazz Newsome (Jr.): 694 snaps, 72 rec, 1,018 yds, 10 TD, 3 rush, 9 yds

#15 Beau Corrales (Jr.): 668 snaps, 40 rec, 575 yds, 6 TD

#84 Garrett Walston (Jr.): 467 snaps, 9 rec, 76 yds, TD

#86 Carl Tucker (Sr.): 360 snaps, 5 rec, 54 yds, TD

# 4 Rontavius Groves (Jr.): 298 snaps, 27 rec, 250 yds, TD, 3 rush, 11 yds

# 3 Antoine Green (So.): 268 snaps, 8 rec, 217 yds, 2 TD

#80 Jake Bargas (Sr.): 149 snaps, 3 rec, 15 yds, TD

#14 Emery Simmons (Fr.): 91 snaps, 4 rec, 72 yds, TD

#11 Roscoe Johnson (Jr.): 29 snaps, 2 rec, 39 yds

#87 Noah Turner (Jr.): 21 snaps

#88 Kamari Morales (Fr.): 20 snaps, 1 rec, 9 yds

#17 Welton Spottsville (Fr.): 18 snaps

#42 Nick Quigley (Sr.): 6 snaps

#83 Justin Olson (Fr.): 4 snaps

# 1 Khafre Brown (Fr.): 3 snaps

# 9 Corey Bell Jr. (Sr.): DNP

#19 Austyn Chestnut (So.): DNP

#23 Ryan Wilkoff (Fr.): DNP

#28 Austin Chrismon (So.): DNP

#29 Jeffrey Saturday (Fr.): DNP

#31 Alex Kopp (Fr): DNP

#32 Mason Laurence (So.): DNP

#35 Carson Burgess (RFr.): DNP

#82 Brandon Fritts (Sr.): DNP

#85 Dom Samson (Jr.): DNP

As in the past, we have combined these two units and that’s why this became a lower grade than you may have expected. The wide receiving corps had a really strong season, led by Dyami Brown, who tied a single season record for receiving touchdowns in program history while also becoming the fourth receiver in school history to reach the 1,000 yard receiving mark in school history. That combined with Dazz Newsome, who became the fifth receiver to reach 1,000 yards receiving just a short while after Brown in the bowl game. The duo became the first in school history to both finish with that mark. Corrales really settled in to his role as the No. 3 wide receiver in this offense, while both Groves and Green had nice seasons as rotational players. Simmons was the only other receiver to player to play major snaps and showed some really promising upside in those limited snaps. The tight end position really drags this grade down, as no Tar Heel tight end finished with ten catches or 100 yards receiving. The Tar Heels will be looking for more production from the unit next season.

Jeremy Brevard- USA Today Sports

Offensive Line: B-

#74 Jordan Tucker (So.): 928 snaps

#68 Brian Anderson (RFr.): 910 snaps

#67 Charlie Heck (Sr.): 865 snaps

#73 Marcus McKethan (So.): 821 snaps

#75 Joshua Ezeudu (RFr.): 516 snaps

#63 Ed Montilus (RFr.): 512 snaps

#58 Nick Polino (Sr.): 203 snaps

#56 Billy Ross (So.): 98 snaps

#76 William Barnes (RFr.): 47 snaps

#72 Asim Richards (Fr.): 47 snaps

#55 Ty Murray (Fr.): 20 snaps

#69 Quiron Johnson (So.): 12 snaps

#78 Layton Barber (Jr.): 3 snaps

#51 Wyatt Tunall (Fr.): DNP

#53 Jacob Setterlind (RFr.): DNP

#54 Avery Jones (RFr.): DNP

#65 Nick Mackovic (RFr.): DNP

#66 Tobechi Nwokeji (So.): DNP

#70 Noland Brown (Fr.): DNP