North Carolina’s backup quarterback position appeared unsettled as recently as Thursday, but it is no more: Nathan Elliott, a redshirt freshman, will be the Tar Heels’ No. 2 quarterback, and Caleb Henderson, a redshirt sophomore, is transferring.
Elliott and Henderson had been competing for the backup position since spring practice, when Elliott emerged as a viable contender for it with a strong performance in the spring game. Henderson, who arrived at UNC a heralded prospect, struggled in the spring game and threw three interceptions.
Henderson recently said that the coaching staff told him that if not for his struggles in the spring game he likely would have entered the preseason as the clear backup to Mitch Trubisky, the starter. Instead Henderson and Elliott shared work in practice with the second-team offense.
“On the field it’s a fierce competition,” Henderson said on Thursday. “Obviously, someone wants to win, but right now we want to compete, but off the field we’re great friends, we have a bunch of inside jokes. We have a great time off the field – me, Mitch and Nate.”
Henderson wrote on Twitter that his decision to transfer was “a family decision” that “had nothing to do with football.” His departure leaves UNC with four scholarship quarterbacks: Trubisky, Elliott and freshmen Logan Byrd and Chazz Surratt. Trubisky is the only one with any college game experience.