Heel Tough Blog: Jay-Jay McCargo Medically Retires


Jim Hawkins- Inside Carolina

While most of the attention around the Tar Heel football program was focused on the spring game on Saturday, news of another medical retirement stole the headlines just moments before the start of the game.

That announcement came from junior offensive lineman Jay-Jay McCargo, who had been battling through a wrist injury this spring, forcing him to make the move from center to left guard. McCargo was not with the team over the final week and a half of camp and as Tar Heel Illustrated has reported, the medical staff and McCargo both came to the conclusion that taking the medical hardship and retiring would be the best choice for his health moving forward.


The Heels will lose one of their more experienced offensive linemen. McCargo started seven games in his Carolina career, including six a year ago, but missed five games due to injury, as well. When McCargo was active, he consistently graded out as one of the Heels better offensive linemen and this year was expected to be a step forward for the Arlington, VA product. The former 3✮ will leave people wondering what could have been had he been able to stay healthy.


With McCargo’s retirement, it would appear that Nick Polino, who started every game at left guard a year ago, will make the move to center full time. That means that spring standout Ed Montilus will likely be the Heels new starter at left guard, while right guard will be determined by a battle between redshirt freshmen Joshua Ezeudu and William Barnes.


McCargo becomes the second Tar Heel to medically retire this offseason, joining C.J. Cotman who retired due to recurrent headaches a few weeks again.