Versatile North Carolina offensive lineman John Ferranto will miss the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle, the school announced on Friday.
Ferranto, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound senior, had been listed atop the Tar Heels’ preseason depth chart at right guard, which is a new position for him. He started four games last season at left tackle, and also started all 13 games during the 2014 season at left tackle.
Ferranto suffered his injury during a workout on Monday. He underwent surgery on Wednesday. There had been some hope that Ferranto might be able to return at some point this season but the school described his injury as “season-ending” in a release on Friday afternoon.
The Tar Heels will now have a more difficult time filling the void left by the departure of Landon Turner, who last year during his senior season was an All-American at right guard. With Turner gone, Ferranto during the spring moved to the interior of the line.
Chris Kapilovic, the Tar Heels’ offensive line coach and offensive coordinator, said in a text message that the loss of Ferranto was “a big blow because of his versatility.” Ferranto’s absence means UNC will have to break in a new starter along the line.
Brad Henson, a fourth-year junior, is listed on the preseason depth chart as Ferranto’s back-up. Henson played in every game last season but he has never started a game at UNC.
Ferranto, meanwhile, is a fifth-year senior who used a redshirt year in 2012, his first at UNC. He would appear to be a strong candidate for an additional year of eligibility through a medical hardship ruling if UNC and Ferranto pursued that option.