The story of spring camp 2019 will once again be a battle at the offenses most important position. For the third season in a row, the Heels will enter spring cap with the expectation that there will be an extensive battle that should extend well into fall camp to determine who will be under center when the season begins, this year in Charlotte against South Carolina. Now, just days before the start of spring camp, one of the players expected to be involved in the competition is out before the battle has even begun.
Head Mack Brown announced this morning that senior quarterback Nathan Elliott has withdrawn from graduate school at Carolina, meaning his Tar Heel football career is over. The expectation as of right now is that Elliott will transfer to Arkansas State to join former Tar Heel offensive coordinator Blake Anderson’s staff as a graduate assistant. Elliott will also join his quarterback coach, Keith Heckendorf, who was hired to the Red Wolves staff this offseason after being part of the staff let go following Larry Fedora’s firing.
Elliott’s career at Carolina will be marred by the memories of his junior year, where he win the quarterback battle in the fall, but went just 2-7 in games that he started. Elliott will finish his Carolina career with a 4-8 career record as a starter, after closing the 2017 season with two of the Tar Heels three wins, including knocking off Pittsburgh in a 38-35 Thursday night thriller in his first career start. Elliott closes his career with 3,149 yards passing and a 21-14 TD-INT ratio on 59.2% passing in 18 career games.
Elliott’s transfer means that the Heels top two competitors from last year’s quarterback battle will not be part of the battle this season after junior Chazz Surratt made the move to outside linebacker this offseason. That means that the starting quarterback battle will rage between redshirt freshmen Cade Fortin and Jace Ruder and true freshman Sam Howell starting this Sunday when spring camp opens.