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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Set to Lose Second RB to Portal

Brett Davis- USA Today Sports

The Tar Heels backfield is taking a pretty significant hit this offseason. The team was already scheduled to lose British Brooks to graduation before Elijah Green entered the transfer portal on Monday. Now, a third back is expected to be heading out, calling into question the depth of the unit.

On Friday afternoon, Grant Grubbs of On3 Sports reported that sophomore George Pettaway is expected to enter the transfer portal. He will enter the portal with three years of eligibility remaining after he sat out the final eight games of the season to maintain his redshirt.

Pettaway played in 15 games in his Tar Heel career with the majority of his snaps coming on special teams. He was the team’s primary kick returner in the final seven games last season, averaging 31.6 yards per return on his seven returns. He handled that role again this season in the first four games, but only returned two kicks for an average of 17.0 yards. Pettaway only played two snaps offensively after playing 74 a year ago. He will finish his Tar Heel career with 20 carries for 93 yards and two rushing touchdowns, as well as five catches for 21 yards.

With Pettaway gone, this running room has grown pretty thin pretty quick. Omarion Hampton is expected to be back as the starter next year, but could very well be gone by the end of 2024 heading for the NFL. Caleb Hood will almost certainly return as the new primary backup, which will give the team a backup with some experience, but behind him, things get thin. Current true freshman Jordan Louie will have a great opportunity to slot into that No. 3 spot on the depth, while incoming true freshman Davion Gause will also now get a serious crack at that job, as well. The concern is not necessarily for next season, but rather for the future of the room which could have some severe depth issues after next season. At kick returner, Doc Chapman will be the guy moving forward after handling the role down the stretch of the season.


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