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Heel Tough Blog: Cedric Gray Makes NFL and Bowl Game Decision

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Bob Donnan- USA Today Sports

For the second time in the week, the Tar Heels have received the news that they will be losing one of their star players to the NFL.

Just moments ago, senior Cedric Gray announced via social media that he will be forgoing his final season of eligibility to head to the NFL. As part of the announcement, Gray also confirmed that he will not play in the team’s bowl game on December 27th in Charlotte against West Virginia.

Gray is all over the place on draft boards, but is mainly seen as a late Day 2-early Day 3 pick. So far this season he leads the team in total tackles (121), solo tackles (64), forced fumbles (2) and fumble recoveries (2) and is second on the team in tackles for loss (11.0), sacks (5.0) and quarterback pressures (21).

With Gray departing, that should open the door for Amare Campbell to become a starter starting with the bowl game against West Virginia. The true freshman is a downhill linebacker so he will have to prove that he can handle himself in coverage if he is going to take the job with Power Echols being a similar type of player. The room also remains in solid shape depthwise despite this being the third scholarship linebacker to leave this offseason thanks to back-to-back recruiting classes with a trio of players being brought in at the position. This could also be an area that the Tar Heels look to add a transfer in the coming weeks to bolster the unit, especially if they feel they need someone who can cover in space.


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