The Tar Heels are in the midst of decision season around their program, as current players on the roster are determining their futures. On Tuesday evening, one of the biggest dominoes of the offseason fell, as senior wide receiver Dazz Newsome announced his decision.
Newsome, via social media on Tuesday night, announced he was not going to take the extra year of eligibility that was available to him because of COVID-19 and would be declaring for the NFL Draft. With his career officially in the books, Newsome finishes his career with 188 catches (third in program history) for 2,435 yards (fifth in program history) and 18 touchdowns (seventh in program history), one of the most productive receiving careers in Carolina history. Newsome also had some pretty nice success as a punt returner, averaging 11.1 yards per return and taking one to the house in his sophomore season against Syracuse. Not a bad career for a player that, as a recruit, ranked outside of the top 1000 players in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite rankings and was basically pushed aside by his home-state Virginia Tech Hokies.
There is no denying that this is a huge loss for the Tar Heels, but wasn’t totally unexpected with him ranking as a third or fourth round selection in the upcoming draft. With him gone, the Tar Heels will now have to replace their top two receivers from each of the past two seasons. Josh Downs showed a lot of promise on Saturday in the Orange Bowl and really impressed during the recruiting process as well, as he looks set to take over for Newsome in the slot and could definitely be Howell’s go-to-receiver next season. Others who could vie for the role as Howell’s prime target in the offseason are Beau Corrales, who returns from an injury that cost him most of the 2020 season, and Khafre Brown and Emery Simmons, who both took on bigger roles this season with the injury to Corrales.