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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heel Offensive Tackle Medically Retires

John Byrum- Getty Images

The Tar Heels have been looking to build some depth along the offensive line for years and this spring that search continues. On Thursday, that search took a hit when it was revealed that one of the players fighting to gain one of those depth roles is stepping away from the team.

The school announced earlier this morning that junior offensive tackle Cayden Baker is medically retiring from football. In his three seasons in Chapel Hill, Baker played in 22 games, including all fourteen this past season.

He played 76 offensive snaps for the team in those 22 games and 77 special teams snaps, all of which came in 2022. His most extensive action came in the 2021 game against the Duke Blue Devils, where he played 19 snaps at center.

Losing Baker isn’t ideal for a Tar Heel offensive line unit that is struggling to find depth, especially at the tackle and center spots. The staff has moved Zach Rice to guard full time, so Trevyon Green, who is out for the spring, and Diego Pounds will be looked to to step up and play and develop the depth needed behind William Barnes and Spencer Rolland. With Green’s absence, sophomore Eli Sutton will get a shot to prove himself for the rest of spring after being buried on the depth chart in each of his first two seasons. At center, early enrollee D.J. Geth has been taking the snaps behind Corey Gaynor according to Mack Brown.


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