College Sports

NC Central is losing a quarterback one game into the football season

2018 NC Central Football vs Howard \ www.nccueaglepride.com - Photo by: Kevin L. Dorsey
2018 NC Central Football vs Howard \ www.nccueaglepride.com - Photo by: Kevin L. Dorsey NCCU Athletics

One game into the 2019 football season, N.C. Central quarterback Chauncey Caldwell has decided to enter the transfer portal.

Caldwell, who’s from Durham, posted the announcement on his Instagram account Friday afternoon. His father, Charles Caldwell, confirmed it in a text message to the News & Observer. The Eagles opened the season Thursday night on the road, suffering a 41-10 loss to Austin Peay.

Micah Zanders started the contest, but Caldwell, a junior, played. Caldwell completed 8 of 23 passes for 78 yards. He threw the only touchdown of the game for NCCU, connecting with Nique Martin for a 35-yard pass in the fourth quarter.

On his Instagram posted Caldwell wrote “First and foremost, I would not be the man I am today without God. However, I am trusting His will for my life. I have decided to enter the transfer portal, with the desire to embrace new opportunities, that will further my academic and athletic abilities.”

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Thank You NCCU

A post shared by Chauncey Caldwell (@cc.1k_) on

Caldwell played three years at Durham-Hillside before transferring to Mallard Creek for his senior year of high school. He enrolled early at NCCU and started eight games as a freshman. He took over when Zanders was injured in the third game of the season against South Carolina State and never looked back, passing for 1,411 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also was second on the team in rushing with 495 yards and 5 scores.

He was the day-one starter as a sophomore, but suffered a season-ending injury on Oct. 27 at Delaware State. In seven games Caldwell threw for 916 yards and 8 scores. He had the best game of his career against Howard on Oct. 6, accounting for 464 yards of total offense. He broke his foot against the Hornets and had surgery two days later.

NCCU football coach Granville Eastman talks about losing quarterback Chauncey Caldwell to injury.

Caldwell was back for spring drills, but could not fully practice, which led to Zanders getting most of the reps. At a press conference last week, first-year coach Trei Oliver said that gave Zanders a leg up in the race, but the coach still said Caldwell would help the team this season.

Over the summer, Caldwell told the N&O there were times he thought about not returning to football while rehabbing from the injury, but he quickly snapped out of it and decided to return to the team.

“I was just going to hang it up,” Caldwell said in July. “I love football, I love it to death, but it’s not my life. If something is your life you can’t go without, and if football was to end for me today I have plenty of other blessings and talents I can go into.”

Davius Richard, a true freshman from Belle Glade, Fla., Travis Griffin, a sophomore from Rocky Mount and Eddie Yearby, a redshirt junior from Port St. Lucie, Fla., are the remaining quarterbacks on the NCCU roster.

The Eagles take on Towson next Saturday in Maryland.

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Sports reporter Jonas Pope IV covers college recruiting, high school sports, NC Central and the ACC for the Herald-Sun and The News & Observer.
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