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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Add to RB Room With USC Transfer

Harry How- Getty Images

The Tar Heels have been very quiet in this transfer window with incoming players, but they dipped into the portal for the second time in the New Year on Thursday evening.

As first reported by Inside Carolina, USC transfer running back Darwin Barlow has committed to the Tar Heels, a move that he later confirmed on social media. 2024 will be his last year at the college level after spending two years at TCU and three at Southern Cal. He will enroll as soon as possible and will be able to participate in spring practice.

Barlow, who is 6’0, 220 lbs., redshirted back in 2019 before having the most successful year of his career in 2020 for the Horned Frogs, tallying 428 yards and four touchdowns. He carried that over into his first season in Los Angeles where he ran for 289 yards and two touchdowns on 62 carries. In his final two seasons with the Trojans, he carried the ball just 24 times for 177 yards, but did have four touchdowns.

This is a nice low-risk, high-reward type of addition for a running back room that was looking for some experience after the transfers of Elijah Green and George Pettaway in this window. He is expected to battle senior Caleb Hood for those primary backup snaps, although Hood was not with the team during the bowl game leading to speculation about his future. If he were to depart, Barlow’s addition could become even more important because it would give redshirt freshman Jordan Louie and true freshman Davion Gause time to develop.

Barlow’s commitment makes him the sixth incoming transfer in this class for the team. The attention now shifts to Georgia Tech transfer OT Jakiah Leftwich, who is expected to visit this weekend.


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