CHAPEL HILL — One week into practice, North Carolina has already lost three players to season-ending injuries.
Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora said Wednesday that sophomore bandit Shakeel Rashad, sophomore safety Sam Smiley and freshman receiver Dalton Stogner had all suffered season-ending injuries.
Rashad (knee) and Smiley (toe/foot) were competing for starting positions. Stogner (knee) is a walk-on who showed promise in the spring.
Any time you lose one guy, its concerning, Fedora said. And to lose three thats why youre constantly talking about depth. Building that depth and doing the things that it takes, depth-wise.
Rashad, who enrolled in January 2012, played in 11 games last season and started at bandit the hybrid defensive end and linebacker position in the season finale against Maryland. He finished last season with 18 tackles 3.5 for loss and also had 1.5 sacks and an interception.
Smiley started at safety in five of the seven games he appeared in last season. A nagging toe and foot injury kept him out of the Tar Heels other five games. Stogner had a promising spring and was listed on the preseason depth chart as the backup to Quinshad Davis at one of UNCs three starting receiving positions.
LB Nathan Staub, the backup at middle linebacker, also suffered a knee injury last week that will keep him out for an undisclosed amount of time.