One of the major position battles that many were people around the Tar Heel football program were keeping an eye on during spring camp. That battle took an interesting turn when senior cornerback K.J. Sails announced his intent to transfer on Friday afternoon.
Sails had a breakout season back in 2017 as a sophomore, finishing with 30 total tackles and a team leading 13 pass deflections. Even with his phenomenal season, Sails received heavy criticism for his actions on the field following pass breakup and was harped on for being hit and miss in coverage. Still, Sails entered the 2018 as the Heels most consistent corner and was off to a solid start prior to an undisclosed leg injury that cost him the final eight games of the season.
While senior Patrice Rene and Trey Morrison both broke out, Sails was expected to compete for the starting outside corner job opposite of Rene this spring and fall. With Sails now out of the running, this battle has lost it’s top contender for the job.
Sails becomes the fourth Tar Heel to transfer this offseason, joining offensive guard Tyler Pritchett, who transferred to Jacksonville State, linebacker Malik Robinson, who has yet to make an announcement as to where he will play, and defensive back Caleb Rozar, who is headed to Alabama State.
Currently, many would say that sophomore C.J. Cotman and junior Greg Ross Jr. will be the top two players that will take over as favorites in this race. Junior Tre Shaw is another name that could factor in following a relatively quiet start to his career. Don’t count out others, such as sophomore DeAndre Hollins, who saw some significant reps in the game on the road at Virgina, or true freshman Storm Duck, who enrolled early this spring and has shown the ability to handle himself in man coverage. Redshirt senior Corey Bell Jr. received an extra year of eligibility of the winter, but will convert to wide receiver to help the Heels add much needed depth at wide receiver with the Heels change to an Air Raid offense. There will be some depth concerns in the defensive backfield this season, but even with Sails’ choice to transfer, those concerns will be at the safety positions.
Sails is officially on the transfer market and is expected to be eligible immediately wherever he goes with one year of eligibility. The Heels will be back in action at the new indoor practice facility tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM.