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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Lose Backup Quarterback to Transfer Portal

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

Andy Mead- ISI Photos

Mack Brown said in press availability on Friday night that there were guys who played last night that would be leaving as soon as Monday. Earlier this morning, the first of those players announced they would be entering the transfer portal.

Shortly before 9:00 AM, sophomore quarterback Jacolby Criswell announced via social media that he was entering the transfer portal. Criswell, who was the team’s backup quarterback this season after losing the starting quarterback battle to Drake Maye, played 22 snaps this season, including four last night on the final drive of the game. He finishes his Tar Heel career having completed 18 of 31 passes for 204 yards and posted a 1-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He will have three years of eligibility remaining wherever he does eventually end up.

This is a decision that it seems most expected, especially with the season that Maye had. This move doesn’t confirm that Maye will be back for next season, but it certainly helps point to that being the case when paired with his comments after the game. As for the depth at quarterback, the Tar Heels are still in great shape thanks to the job they have done on the recruiting trail. True freshman Conner Harrell showed some nice things back in the spring and seems poised to slide into that backup role. Sophomore Jefferson Boaz is expected to be back on the roster as well at this time, helping to provide depth there along with redshirt freshman walk-on Russell Tabor. The team will add 4✮ Tad Hudson to the room during the early signing, who should come in and at least compete for that backup quarterback job.

Criswell’s decision to enter the portal is not one that should have come as a surprise to anyone this morning. The former 4✮ prospect fought to the end in the quarterback battle back in fall camp and deserves his shot to be a starter somewhere next season. This move is supposedly only the start of the transfer portal entries, though, for the Tar Heels.


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