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Heel Tough Blog: Conner Harrell Set for First Start Preparing for Battle With Max Johnson

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

Wednesday was player presser day as three of the Tar Heels' most prominent figures for the bowl game spoke with the media. Among those who talked was new starting quarterback Conner Harrell, who will get his first career start on December 27th in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl against the West Virginia Mountaineers. 

He started off his availability by discussing the opportunity. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity. Blessed to be in this position. I have to take advantage of it, take advantage of every day, every practice. I’m trying to be a little louder, more vocal leader, step in the position. Drake left so now it’s my turn to be loud and be the leader.”

This game will present Harrell with the opportunity to get a little head start on the impending quarterback battle that lies on the horizon this offseason. He said Wednesday the staff was upfront with him about the decision to bring in Max Johnson and that it serves as a little bit of extra motivation for him.

Harrell played his first snaps of his college career earlier this season in the game against Campbell. He completed all four of his passes for 71 yards and a touchdown and ran for 61 yards and a touchdown on two carries. He showed off his strong arm and game-changing speed in the open field, things that hopefully translate to this game against a Power 5 opponent. If it does, it will be hard to imagine a situation where Max Johnson beats him out, especially with how well he fits Chip Lindsey’s offense.


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