George Pettaway has committed to North Carolina.
He selected UNC over three other finalists: Florida, Oregon, and Penn State.
The 5’11”, 190-pound four-star running back out of Nansemond-Suffolk (VA) Academy is UNC’s 14th commitment from the class of 2022, and the second four-star running back following Omarion Hampton’s pledge in July. Pettaway was recruited by Tidewater legend Dre Bly.
Tar Heel fans are no doubt still sad over the departure of legendary backfield mates Michael Carter and Javonte Williams. With the addition of Pettaway to the UNC roster, the glory days of the Gruesome Twosome may be back before we know it!
Pettaway started his senior campaign shot out of a cannon. In the Saints’ first four games, Pettaway has racked up 824 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, 203 receiving yards (on only eight catches!) and 2 touchdown catches. He’s a threat to take it to the house anytime he touches the ball.
Carolina has shown in recent history that its offense is better served with two stud running backs rather than one bell cow (Carter and Williams. Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan. Chad Scott and Ronnie McGill, maybe?). And in any event, next season the Tar Heels need to replenish their running backs room. They’re set to lose Tennessee-transfer Ty Chandler after the season, and emergent rushing savant Sam Howell will surely be in the NFL next season, leaving Caleb Hood as the only back with significant game experience on the roster.
Whoever takes over as quarterback next season will likely lean on the rushing attack as they acclimatize to the speed of college football. Adding Pettaway to that group will be hugely beneficial not only due to his skill, but because he offers something different from the larger Hood and Hampton, and can give offensive coordinator Phil Longo something else to throw at ACC defenses.
Also noteworthy, Pettaway is the fifth commitment in the 2022 class from the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the third from the Tidewater region. The talent-rich southeastern corner of Virginia is a short 3.5-hour drive to Chapel Hill (easily a 3-hour drive if not for the ticket-crazy cops in Emporia) and there is no reason why its top talent should go all the way to Blacksburg, or end up in Charlottesville with a bunch of weirdos who wear orange pants and bowties.