Tar Heel Football: Which Running Back Should Start?


First and foremost, I’d like to start off this article by saying how great it is to be back in the KIH mix. I took a brief hiatus for school but am looking to come back strong for loyal readers. Good to be back home.

That being said, what is the deal with the season so far? Our running game is sloppy and looked bad against such perennial powerhouses (cough, cough) as Liberty and San Diego State. Last time I checked, basketball season is months away. So that means San Diego State shouldn’t be relevant just yet. Chapel Hill can’t struggle the way they have when they visit East Carolina on Saturday. They do this by setting the tone on the ground, early and often. This, in turn, begs the question: who should start at running back?

Let’s start this off with facts. UNC has not had more than one touchdown by any running back. Quarterback Marquise Williams boasts the only two ground scores of the season. Running backs Elijah Hood, Charles Brunson, and Romar Morris have a touchdown apiece. This has to change and it’s up to head coach Larry Fedora to decide which running back to start: T.J. Logan, Elijah Hood, Charles Brunson, Romar Morris, or Khris Francis?

Sophomore T.J. Logan boasts the most amount of carries (17) and rushing yards (78) through two games. The 5’10’’, 185 pound power back clearly has the majority of coach’s trust with the rock under his arm. Even though he’s on a sophomore, he’s on an underclassman running back squad and that makes him somewhat of an upperclassman in this situation.

Elijah Hood sits at 6’1’’, 220 pounds and the freshman running back has, in my opinion, the most upside potential. He’s put six on the board already for the Tar Heels and has 14 carries for 69 yards. This translates to nearly five yards a rush for the true first-year player. He’s a quick learner and seems to understand the offense. The young man has raw talent that needs to be honed. More carries will mold the seaoned running back UNC needs three seasons from now.

Charles Brunson weighs in at 200 pounds and stands 5’11”. The sophomore rusher already has a touchdown under his belt. He’s got six yards per carry to his stats as well as a 17 yard burst. Coaches notice that. Don’t be surprised to see his nine carries increase.

Romar Morris is a 5’10’’ 190 pound junior who has 10 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown. He’s already put points on the board for UNC but there doesn’t seem to be a significant amount of trust in him from the coaching staff.

Khris Francis is a 5’9”, 200 pound sophomore. He’s only had five carries for 16 yards. He doesn’t seem to have enough carries to carry much weight in the starting running back conversation.

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

So what’s the best move for the Tar Heels going forward? The best option for them seems to be a one-two punch with T.J. Logan and Elijah Hood leading the charge. Both are young running backs with phenomenal upside potential. UNC has a great young stock of rushers but, if given the choice between Logan and Hood, Chapel Hill should give more touches to Hood.

The fact that he’s got a touchdown under his belt as well as being a true freshman with that many carries says a lot about the belief the coaches have in the young man. Either way, Logan has to get a lot of touches for Chapel Hill to be successful to give Hood breaks. It all works out in UNC’s favor either way you share the rock.