On Saturday, sixteen Tar Heels are set to play their final game in Kenan Stadium when they face the Western Carolina Catamounts. Let’s take a look back at the career of the ten Tar Heels that will be honored ahead of the game.
# 5 Dazz Newsome
Career Stats: 174 rec, 2270 yds, 16 TD, 19 rush, 163 yds, 2 TD, 43 PR, 11.1 avg, TD
Newsome will quietly leave behind one of the most successful careers among wide receivers in program history. Newsome heads into Friday’s game sixth in program history in receiving yards, fifth in receptions and tied for seventh in touchdown receptions. Newsome has never finished a season with less than 18 catches or 220 yards and has been one of the team’s top two receivers in each of the final three seasons of his career. Newsome has had his moments as an electric punt returner, especially in his sophomore season, where he averaged 11.1 yards per return. Newsome’s best year was his junior season in 2019, as he caught 72 passes for 1,018 yards and ten touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown in the home opener against Miami.
# 5 Patrice Rene
Career Stats: 100 ttkl, 4.0 TFL, FF, FR, 2 INT, 12 PD
Rene has been on campus for five years now and has made an impact each season since his freshman season back in 2016. Rene had a solid first two seasons in a Tar Heel uniform, starting the first game of his career in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic against Georgia, but he really broke out in 2018 when he became one of the ACC’s best statistical lockdown corners. After allowing just a 41.3% completion rate as a junior, Rene was ready to close out his career last year, before a knee injury shut his season down after just two games. Rene returned for his final season and has been a nice rotational piece at corner this season for the Tar Heels, stepping up in games against NC State and Duke to play a big role.
# 8 Michael Carter
Career Stats: 482 rush, 3023 yds, 17 TD, 79 rec, 641 yds, 6 TD, 29 KR, 22.4 avg
There were so many comparisons to Giovani Bernard when Carter signed with the Tar Heels as a part of the 2017 recruiting class, but his first two seasons on campus weren’t nearly as productive as the lofty expectations demanded. He still has never finished a season with less than 550 yards rushing and is one of just eight Tar Heel running backs all time to reach the 3,000 yard rushing mark and the first since Leon Johnson. He has also gotten the job done as a receiver out of the backfield, as he is top five in most receiving categories in program history among full time running backs and his 3,664 scrimmage yards currently are the sixth-most in program history. Carter has put himself in the conversation with Johnson and Bernard as one of the most complete running backs in program history.
#12 Tomon Fox
Career Stats: 122 ttkl, 32.5 TFL, 20.0 scks, 5 FF, 3 FR, INT, PD
Fox has a strange career to judge because the numbers are there, but the consistency just hasn’t been. Still, Fox has finished with 8.5 tackles for a loss or more in each of the last three seasons and has at least 5.5 sacks in each of the last two seasons. His career is similar to Mikey Bart’s from a few years ago, solid but not spectacular.
#19 Austyn Chestnut
Career Stats: 1 KR, 8.0 avg
Chestnut will likely have one more chance to add to his career on Saturday in his role as a garbage time wide receiver and kick returner. He is still looking for his first career reception, which he’s hoping he can come this weekend.
#21 Chazz Surratt
Career Stats: 191 ttkl, 22.5 TFL, 12.5 scks, 2 FF, 2 FR, 2 INT, 3 PD, 111-193, 1352 yds, 8 TD, 6 INT, 95 rush, 279 yds, 6 TD
Surratt’s career did not start the way he wanted it to, his move to linebacker reinvigorated his career and gave him a firm place in program lore. Surratt played in ten games and started seven games at quarterback in 2017 and 2018, going 1-6 as a starter with his lone win coming over Old Dominion. Ahead of the 2019 season, Surratt made the move to linebacker and was forced into starting duties in the first game of his career at the position against South Carolina and hasn’t looked back since. He led the team in tackles in 2019 and is once again on pace to do that same thing in 2020 while he also competes for back-to-back first team All-ACC honors and the Butkus Award. He also gave us one of the best moments in Kenan Stadium history with the game-winning interception on the goaline to reclaim the Victory Bell in 2019.
#25 Tre Shaw
Career Stats: 19 ttkl, 1.0 TFL, PD
Shaw is the other Tar Heel who will not be able to play on Saturday, as he also opted out of the 2020 season after suffering an undisclosed injury in the offseason. The previous three seasons, Shaw was a valuable part of the special teams coverage unit when he was on the field. His most productive season came in 2017 when he finished with nine tackles while playing in all twelve games.
#28 Austin Chrismon
Career Stats: No Stats
Chrismon has appeared in two games in his Carolina career and will hope to appear in his final one on Saturday. He will also be hoping to touch the football for the first time in his career on senior day.
#30 Matthew Flint
Career Stats: 4 ttkl, 0.5 TFL, 0.0 scks
Flint is one of two players that will be honored on Saturday that will not be able to play on Saturday. Back in August, he announced that he was opting out of the 2020 season, but would stay on the staff as a student assistant. That followed a 2019 season where Flint was set to play some significant role as a rotational role at linebacker before breaking a bone in his leg and ending his season after two games. He will continue his career somewhere as a transfer next year.
#32 Mason Laurence
Career Stats: No Stats
Laurence is another walk-on receiver that will be honored on Saturday that hasn’t seen much playing time in his career with the Tar Heels. The only game that he has appeared in so far was last year’s game against Mercer, so this would be big for him if Carolina was able to establish a big lead and get him in the game.
#60 Trevor Collins
Career Stats: 95-95 XP, 27-41 FG on his snaps
Collins might be the least known member of this Senior Day class, but he has been an extremely important part of this Tar Heel team for the last couple of years. Collins has handled the Tar Heels’ long snapping duties on kicks in every game in the last two years and has been extremely efficient during that time.
#66 Tobechi Nwokeji
Career Stats: No Stats
Nwokeji climbed the depth all to backup right tackle last spring, but he has still yet to see action in a game so far in his career. Saturday would be a big milestone for him if he was able to enter the game at some point and take the first snaps of his career.
#84 Garrett Walston
Career Stats: 22 rec, 276 yds, 3 TD, 2 KR, 6.0 avg
Walston’s receiving numbers won’t blow you away, but he has really developed into a big part of this Tar Heel running game as a run blocker. When Walston came to Carolina, no one would have imagined that he would have been able to be as effective in the run game as he has, but he is a big reason why both fellow senior Michael Carter and Javonte Williams have been able to be so successful on the ground.
#90 Xach Gill
Career Stats: 17 ttkl, 2.5 TFL, 2.0 scks, FR, PD
Gill hasn’t been able to establish much more than a garbage time role with the Tar Heels in his time on campus and he is expected to move on after graduating in the fall semester. His best season came last year as a sophomore when Gill played in all 13 games and finished with a career high ten total tackles.
#96 Cooper Graham
Career Stats: 95-95 XP, 27-41 FG on his holds, 1 ttkl
Graham took over the holding duties ahead of last season and has been an extremely reliable part of this Tar Heel special teams unit since. He has done a great job in the role and has yet to mishandle a snap since taking over the role. He saw his most extensive action in 2019 against Georgia Tech, where he handled both holding and kickoff duties.
#97 Noah Ruggles
Career Stats: 47-47 XP, 19-27 FG
Ruggles may not have made a major impact this season, but he was a big part of the special teams unit a year ago. He may have been up-and-down a bit in the middle of the season, but overall, he had a pretty solid season, especially after he reclaimed the starting kicking job at halftime of the Duke game. In the offseason, though, he was beat out for the starting kicking job by Grayson Atkins, who has held the role for the entire season. He will still have one year of eligibility left, so it will be interesting to see if he enters his name in the transfer portal.