Countdown to Kickoff: The UNC Offensive Line Preview

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Nov 15, 2014; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back T.J. Logan (8) reacts with guard Caleb Peterson (70) and offensive lineman Jared Cohen (65) and offensive tackle John Ferranto (77) after scoring the game winning touchdown in the 4th quarter. The Tar Heels defeated the Panthers 40-35 at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Left Guard

LG1 Jared Cohen (#65) 6-3 305 lbs Soph.

Cohen found the field last year mainly serving in a reserve role after Landon Turner went down with an injury. Cohen proved himself in that rising to the occasion when Coach Kap switched him over to Left Guard in the Spring. Cohen is my pick to get the starting nod (over Peterson) at left guard because he’s flat out the best pull-locker on the roster. Any offensive line coach would want to duplicate the nastiness this kid plays with in the trenches.

LG2 Caleb Peterson (#70) 6-5 300lbs Redshirt Junior

Peterson enters the 2015 campaign as a two-year returning starter at Left Guard but faced a wave of competition for his starting nod. On film, Peterson looked like a shell of his self in 2013. He didn’t finish blocks at the same rate in 2013 as he did 2014 which makes me wonder if Caleb battled an injury all season.

LG 3a Brad Henson (#73) 6-5 300 lbs Redshirt Soph.

Henson saw most of his PT in his Redshirt Freshman season in the reserve and special teams’ role. Henson has the versatility to play both guard positions and center, which helps tremendously for depth.

LG 3b Nick Polino (#58) 6-4 275 lbs Offensive Line

Polino hails from the new Carolina connection at Buford High in Georgia. He’s a physical run blocker that brings a nastiness that offensive line purists love. Polino will likely redshirt, but his development will be exciting to watch.

Left guard finds itself in the same situation as Left tackle where an old mainstay finds himself in a battle for playing time with a young gun. Between Cohen and Peterson, Carolina has at least two options that give this guy comfort at Left Guard.