When LSU graduate transfer Quarterback Brandon Harris committed to play at North Carolina for his last season of eligibility that gave the Tar Heels 4 graduate transfers for the 2017 season. All of the transfers are on Offense and they are coming at the right time.
After losing long time Quarterback Marquis Williams, junior Mitchell Trubisky stepped right in without hardly missing a beat. Trubisky threw for 3,748 yards and 30 Touchdowns and he ran for 308 yards and 5 more Touchdowns.
After only one season as a starter Mitchell Trubisky declared for the NFL Draft.
Brandon Harris was a very highly sought after Quarterback coming out of Bossier City, Louisiana. ESPN had him ranked as the 2nd best Dual Threat Quarterback recruit in the nation only behind
Deshaun Watson. Harris is an incredible athlete with a really strong arm. His problem has always been accuracy.
Harris played some as a true freshman back in 2014, but he played mostly like a freshman. He was the starter in the 2015 season and threw for 2,158 yards and 13 Touchdowns. The limited numbers is more on his offense than on him. There was a lot of grumbling in Baton Rouge about Harris and mostly about head coach Les Miles.
Miles benched Harris after a poor performance against Wisconsin in an LSU loss and a poor start against Jacksonville State. Harris didn’t throw a pass after the second game.
Harris will have to compete with redshirt sophomore Nathan Elliott for the starting job. Elliott threw 9 passes and completed 8 last year for 55 yards. Obviously, all of those were short passes and we don’t know what he can do on the long ball.
Redshirt freshmen Chazz Surrat and Logan Byrd are former 4 star recruits and they have had a year to learn the offense.
This is probably the ideal situation for Brandon Harris with an offense more suited for his talents and a job opening.
The Tar Heels also lost Running Backs Elijah Hood and TJ Logan which will be difficult to deal with in 2017. But, the transfer of Running Back Stanton Truitt from Auburn may help.
While Truitt is not Hood or Logan, and he’s not Herschel Walker, but he comes at the right time for the Tar Heels. The only returning back with game experience is redshirt sophomore Jordon Brown.
But, last season Brown averaged 2.25 yards rushing on 20 carries.
The Tar Heels did bring in 3 Running Backs in the class of 2017. 4 star Floridians CJ Cotman and Michael Carter may, or may not, be ready to contribute early. Also, 3 star Clarksville, Tennessee native Antwuan Branch might be able to play.
Coming out of high school, it was said that Stanton Truitt ran the 40 yard dash in the 4.3s. That certainly didn’t help him at Auburn, but maybe he will have a break out year at North Carolina.
The Offensive Line lost starters Lucas Crowley at Center and Right Tackle Jon Heck. To replace them, the Tar Heels grabbed 2 graduates from other schools.
Cameron Dillard chose to transfer from the Florida Gators to North Carolina over Arizona. Rated as the 20th best Offensive Guard in the country in the 2013 class, he was a 4 star recruit for the Gators and Will Muschamp. The Canton, Michigan native apparently prefers warmer weather and he started at Center for the Gators. Coming into the 2016 season, Dillard started the fist 8 games before being lost for the season. He has a good shot at starting at Center for the Tar Heels in the 2017 season.
Khaliel Rodgers was also from the 2013 recruiting class and was the 16th ranked Offensive Guard
from Elkton, Maryland. He signed with the USC Trojans and then redshirted as a freshman. Rodgers was mostly a back up for the Trojans, but he started quite a few games due to injuries to the starter ahead of him. He started at Guard and Center, but he had his own issues with injuries.
Rodgers initially announced he was transferring to Iowa State before changing directions and picking the Tar Heels.
Cameron Dillard will have to compete with Khaliel Rodgers for the starting Center duties, or they can compete with returners for the Offensive Guard positions.
Whether the North Carolina Tar Heels get only 1 starter out of these transfers, or even 4, this is the way the game is progressing. There is recruiting, and there’s now recruiting for graduate players if you have needs on your roster. That’s the new college football that we have to live with.