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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Starting Running Back Out for the Season

Rob Kinnan- USA Today Sports

The Tar Heels have been working to find the replacement for one veteran starter that will miss an extended period of time for the last week and on Saturday night they found out that they will have to do it again, this time in the backfield.

Per a release from the school just a short time ago, the Tar Heels will be without sixth year senior running back for the entirety of the season after he suffered a lower body injury in Saturday night’s practice in Kenan Stadium. Brooks was slated to be the teams top running back this season after a strong finish to the 2021 season, where he ran for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the final three games of the season. Brooks was also the captain of the special teams unit and was set to be one of the main leaders for this team that is looking to bounce back from a rough season a year ago. He joins Antoine Green as veterans that were expected to be a big part of this Tar Heel offense this season that will not be out there to start the season.

The running back group will now enter the season without a single player that has started a game in their career. Junior D.J. Jones is the most experienced member of the group now, but has struggled to stay healthy and struggled to make a major impact when he was on the field last year. Sophomore Caleb Hood saw some snaps last year as a true freshman, but was never able to get into a rhythm because of injury issues. After missing the majority of the spring with another injury, it has been a bit of a quiet fall so far for him. Fellow sophomore Elijah Green had a great spring, but has also been a bit hushed so far in fall camp. The two guys that now seem to have the best opportunity to earn reps are the two true freshmen, George Pettaway and Omarion Hampton, who have shined early in the fall and were pushing to make immediate impacts even before this news. The group has the talent needed to replace what they lost tonight, but the loss of experience and leadership will be a little tougher to solve.


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