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Heel Tough Blog: Football Program Updates the Status of 12 Players Prior to Spring Camp

Isaiah Vazquez- Getty Images

While the Tar Heel basketball program is preparing to make a run in the NCAA Tournament, Tar Heel football is preparing to return to the field, as they look to answer some questions in an offseason that will be full of them. On Monday the program updated the status of twelve players for the spring ahead of tomorrow’s first spring practice.

Seven of the twelve players will not be participating due to injury and are expected to be back in the fall. The tight end position, as it was against West Virginia in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, will be decimated, as veteran John Copenhaver and Bryson Nesbit will both sit out due to offseason surgeries. They’ll be joined by redshirt freshman Julien Randolph, who missed all of last season with an injury suffered early in fall camp, and true freshman Timothy Lawson, who went down with an injury in the middle of his senior year of high school, as members of that tight end room that will not participate. Wide receivers Gavin Blackwell and J.J. Jones, two of the team’s top three receivers heading into this season, will also be out, meaning the door is open for some of the younger options on the outside to step up. True freshman running back Jordan Louie will also have to take the practice field for the first time.

Mack Brown followed these injury designations by updating the status of the three Tar Heel players who are facing legal charges in connection to a deadly car accident earlier this offseason. Offensive lineman Zach Rice, defensive tackle Travis Shaw and edge rusher Malaki Hamrick will all participate in spring camp as the legal process continues.

Brown also announced that two depth pieces along the offensive line are no longer a part of the roster. Second-year tackle Nolan McConnell has told the program that he is retiring from football, while fellow class member DJ Geth, who provided depth on the interior of the unit, has told them he will transfer when the portal reopens in April.

Stay tuned later today and for the next few weeks on the Heel Tough Blog as we take you through all of the latest around the basketball program’s run in the NCAA Tournament and the latest happenings in spring camp for the football program.


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