Top UNC Football players for 2018: No. 24 Johnathon Sutton

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Kentavius Street
RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Kentavius Street /

Keeping It Heel continues its countdown of the top 25 football players on the North Carolina Tar Heels’ roster with player No. 24

#25 Dyami Brown

The college football season kicks off in about five months, and it will be here before we know it.

The NFL is in the midst of free agency and the NFL Draft is right around the corner.

So what better way to get into the football mood than getting a sneak peek at the future of the North Carolina football team?

Let’s take a look at player No. 24, a former linebacker who made the switch to running back last season.

Position: Running back

Hometown: Swansea, South Carolina

High School: Swansea

Last Season: Despite some big expectations, I did rank him 12th going into last season, Sutton only saw action in six games. In those six games, he carried the ball 14 times for 81 yards and no touchdowns.

Sutton’s 5.8 yards per carry was second-best on the team, though most of his carries came against lesser competition.

Why he might move up this list: Just as was the case last season, Sutton provides the Tar Heels with a different type of back, a big bell cow that can get the short yardage and can be dangerous around the goal line.

Also, with a year and a full off-season playing as a running back it might help get him a few more opportunities due to a stronger familiarity with the offense.

Why he might move down this list: Probably the biggest detriment to Sutton is the offense the Tar Heels run. Sutton’s skills might be better suited in a more pro-style offense. Instead, UNC runs a shotgun spread offense that relies more on shiftier backs.

This works better for Michael Carter and Jordon Brown who both fit that style, as does wide receiver Dazz Newsome. The offense also allows for quarterback runs, making Sutton the fourth rushing option on the team at best.

Additionally, the Tar Heels just added Devon Lawrence, ESPN’s 27th best running back, this season and he too could be in line to take reps away from Sutton.

Prediction: The extra year should help get Sutton more involved this season. Fedora likes to work in multiple backs during games, to keep the defense guessing and to keep his runners fresh. As long as he has shown improvement Sutton should get some of those opportunities.

Let’s say he improves this season and finishes with 25 carries for 140 yards and a touchdown.