Top UNC Football players for 2017: No. 14 JT Cauthen

Keeping It Heel continues its countdown of the top 25 players on the North Carolina Tar Heels roster with player No. 14

#25 Noah Ruggles | #24 Tomon Fox | #23 Jordan Cunningham | #22 Tyler Powell 

#21 Brandon Fritts | #20 Jonah Melton | #19 Stanton Truitt | #18 Myles Dorn

#17 Cayson Collins | #16 Michael Carter | #15 Tom Sheldon

Keeping It Heel is going to continue to help you countdown the weeks until college football season by revealing our list of the top 25 UNC players for the upcoming season.

The college football season kicks off in less than 100 days.

Sure the NBA Championship just started, but that could be over quickly if game one was a sign of things to come.

So what better way to get into the football mood than getting a sneak peek at the future of the Tar Heels.

Let’s get started with player No. 14, a freshman wide receiver who will have some big hands to fill for the Tar Heels.

14

JT Cauthen (Freshmen)

Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Waxhaw, North Carolina

High School: Cuthbertson

Last Season: Last Season, Cauthen set his high school’s record for career receptions and yards, with 104 and 2,645 respectively. He finished last season with 60 receptions for 981 yards and 12 touchdowns.

As the 44th overall wide receiver, according to ESPN, Cauthen graduated early and enrolled in UNC this past semester. This allowed him to play in the spring game where he finished with two catches for 33 yards.

Why he might move up this list: At 6-foot-1 and 225-pounds, Cauthen is a big receiver who can jump over other players. Look at his tape from last season:

With the loss of both Mack Hollins and Bug Howard to the NFL, the Tar Heels are in need of a tall receiver.

Especially considering their top two returning receivers are both under six feet tall, Cauthen would give the Tar Heels an additional red zone threat for whoever is throwing him the ball.

Why he might move down this list: Speaking of the quarterback, the question of who will start there puts all receivers in potential jeopardy. A lot of times this will lead to a shorter passing game and a stronger reliance on the run.

Cauthen also has competition in the form of sophomore Juvall Mollette. Mollette had seven catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns in the spring game and looks like he will be in the picture for some of the receiving targets as well.

Prediction: A player of Cauthen’s skill is going to find the field, particularly with all the Tar Heels lost at receiver this past season. However, with the quarterback questions, a modest season might be most likely.

Cauthen finishes the year with 30 catches for 350 yards and four touchdowns as he slowly takes over the Bug Howard role in the offense.