As the Tar Heels get ready to head on the road this Saturday for Tallahassee, there are a couple of newsworthy items that are worth updating you on.
Earlier this morning, Inside Carolina was the first to report that defensive back D.J. Ford has entered the transfer portal to pursue other opportunities. Ford, who was a senior entering the 2020 season, decided to opt out of the season just prior to fall camp and was expected to return to Carolina for the 2021 season prior to his announcement. Ford finished his Tar Heel football career with 72 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and four pass deflection. He is the second member of the expected 2020 Tar Heels secondary to announce his intent to transfer within the last week, joining fellow senior Myles Wolfolk, who announced his entry into the transfer portal this past Wednesday. Since November 6th, four members of the Tar Heel secondary have entered the transfer portal.
In other news, there have been a few injury updates that are worth noting. Starting cornerback Storm Duck missed this past Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech and the program officially ruled him out for this week’s game against Florida State on Monday afternoon. There is no official statement on his long term injury status, but the fact that he was ruled out on Monday when the program had said they were wanting to wait until game days for injury updates is not a good sign. The good news is, both Kyler McMichael and Patrice Rene are more than capable of holding their own as starters and the Tar Heels depth at corner still looks pretty solid.
It was also revealed that Raymond Vohasek, Ja’Qurious Conley and Emery Simmons, all of whom were inactive for the game against Virginia Tech, will be reevaluated later this week and all three will have an opportunity to play this weekend. In his Tuesday morning time with the media, Tar Heel linebacker Chazz Surratt said that he believes that Vohasek will be able to play this weekend, which would be a huge boost for a Tar Heel defensive line that had their issues, especially in run defense on Saturday. If he doesn’t play, the Tar Heels will have to find a way to be more effective in the 2-4-5 the team ran for most of the day on Saturday or else it could be another long day defensively.
Another piece of injury news worth noting was announced just before the game on Saturday. True freshman linebacker Ethan West was declared out for the season due to an undisclosed injury. West was named a captain for the Tar Heels game against Boston College back on October 3rd.