Nov 10, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Bryn Renner (2) hand the ball off to running back A.J. Blue (15) in the first half at Kenan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

UNC Football: Who Will Be The Lead Back Next Season With Giovani Bernard Gone?

The North Carolina Tar Heels lost the nations best running back when Giovani Bernard decided to make himself eligible for the NFL Draft.  Bernard is likely to be the first back taken in the draft and although UNC will miss him they are well equipped to handle the loss and move forward with a solid running game.

Head coach Larry Fedora did a nice job of incorporating AJ Blue and Romar Morris into the game plan in his first season and resisted riding Bernard the entire season and that should help with the transition.  Fedora also secured the commitment of one of the most electrifying prospects in the state of North Carolina in T.J. Logan out of Greensboro who set records with a 510 yard, eight touchdown performance this season.

Fedora will once again have a talented trio of backs but who will emerge as the #1 guy?

The answer in my mind is nobody, I believe we will see a true three headed monster emerge with Fedora opting to keep fresh legs in the backfield with constant rotation.  Both Blue and Morris had terrific seasons averaging over five yards per carry with Blue being more of a between the tackles power rusher who got a lot of opportunities in the red zone scoring nine touchdowns.  Morris has home run speed and is more of an edge rusher with the ability to take it between the tackles if he needs to.  Logan resembles Morris’ game more but has a bit more wiggle and may prove to be more dangerous in the open field.

I expect Blue to be the “starter” and for Morris to get about the same amount of carries with Logan being brought along about the same way Morris was this season as the #3 guy who won’t be ignored but might not always make it into onto the field as much as his counterparts.

The Tar Heels offense likes to run as many plays as fast as they can to keep defenses off balance and fatigued.  Even with a superstar back like Bernard, Fedora obviously likes to rotate his backs, without a big time #1 back like #26 on the roster I don’t expect to see anybody emerge too far ahead of the pack.


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Tags: Football Giovani Bernard North Carolina Tar Heels Romar Morris TJ Logan

  • jessica oxendine

    I just wanna say that Blue was a surprise to me this year, he was so much better than he was last year. I guess Fedora really got him in shape. Morris showed that he can receive and run the ball. I think that Logan needs to put on more muscle and he will be great. I’m excited to see how they use Switzer as well. Now you need to do an article about the O-line and who will be starting next year. We have two going in the draft next year I believe.