While delayed by a week, the offseason changes began in earnest for the Tar Heels on Sunday morning, as super sophomore quarterback Jacolby Criswell announced that he will enter the transfer portal.
Criswell tweeted out his announcement, thanking Tar Heel fans for supporting him throughout his three years on campus:
“It has been a pleasure to be a Tar Heel. Thank you to all my teammates, coaches, and fans for making these three years unforgettable. I’m forever grateful. This was a tough decision, but I think this is what’s best for my future. I’ll be entering the transfer portal and deciding what I’ll be playing in the coming weeks. I want to thank the Tar Heel community for their support”
Criswell came to Carolina in the Covid season of 2020, meaning that while this was his third season on the team he still has three years he can play. He saw his most action in that Covid year, but he did start one game in 2021, against Wofford as Sam Howell sat out due to injury. For his UNC career, Criswell was 14-20 for 133 yards, and one touchdown. Going into the 2022 season there was a real thought that there was a real fight between Criswell and Drake Maye for starting quarterback. When Maye trotted out to being the Florida A&M game and Criswell barely saw any action, it may have been a sign the competition wasn’t as close as many thought.
As the season wore on, Maye not only grabbed a hammerlock on the position but rose into national prominence. It became very clear that there just wasn’t any room for Criswell to play either this or next season barring a Maye injury, and with another four-star quarterback commit in Tad Hudson committed to come in the class of 2023, Criswell obviously decided to enter the crowded portal and take his experience to another school that’ll need a starter.
Criswell won’t be the last player to enter the portal as Carolina awaits their bowl assignment coming off their disappointing loss to Clemson Saturday.