The fact that Mack Brown has three quarterbacks competing for a starting job in the era of the transfer portal is a modern miracle.
Brown was noncommittal about UNC’s quarterback situation following spring practice. He praised each of his three quarterbacks and said they each did good and bad things throughout spring.
By all accounts, UNC has a three-man battle for the job heading into fall. In the era of the transfer portal, that’s unheard of.
For those who are unaware, the transfer portal is a database that NCAA players can enter in to if they wish to transfer from their current school. This database is accessible by other coaches, who can then reach out to start the recruiting process all over again with these players.
This offseason in particular has seen many quarterbacks enter the portal. Among the most notable are Justin Fields going from Georgia to Ohio State, Jalen Hurts transferring from Alabama to Oklahoma, and Tate Martell going from Ohio State to Miami.
So how has Brown been able to keep all three quarterbacks in Chapel Hill?
Well for one, honesty and giving each player a chance to compete for the job.
While it looked like Sam Howell held the upper hand exiting the spring, neither Jace Ruder nor Cade Fortin has given any indication that they are leaving anytime soon.
After all, all three are freshmen and have four years of eligibility remaining. There is plenty of time to learn Phil Longo’s new offense and compete for the job.
2019 will be a rebuilding year for the Tar Heels after all. The quarterback who begins Game 1 against South Carolina might not be the same starter at the end of the season.
Brown’s skill as a recruiter also helps in this regard. He’s not only convincing high school recruits to enroll in Chapel Hill, he’s selling current players on sticking it out as he and his new staff rebuild the Tar Heels.
So far, it’s worked.
Time will tell if the Brown experiment will work out again, but for now it appears that the Tar Heels’ head coach is saying and doing all the right things.