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UNC football: Graduate transfer Brandon Harris commits to North Carolina

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Does this mean the Tar Heels have a new starting quarterback?

LSU v Wisconsin Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last month we heard that LSU quarterback Brandon Harris had interest in transferring out of the school. Mutual interested was said to exist between him and North Carolina, prompting the two sides to meet up and see if there could be a match. After multiple visits to Chapel Hill, Harris announced on Sunday that he has officially declared his commitment to the program for the upcoming 2017 season.

Harris made his announcement on his official Facebook page.

“Obviously, it has been an important time for me, looking for a great situation and another opportunity to grow as a young man and as a student as well as a football player. The opportunity to accomplish that is very important to me. After my official visit this weekend to the University of North Carolina, I'm going to get that opportunity. With that being said, I'm fully committed to UNC this upcoming year and I look forward to the opportunity to play for coach Fedora and UNC. Thank you, to all of those who have kept me in your prayers and continue to do so. I have to say that I haven't been this excited in a while and can't do anything but thank God and my wonderful family for their continued support.”

As mentioned last month, “Harris was once the team’s starting quarterback for the 2015 season, when he threw for 2,165 yards and 13 touchdowns along with 226 rushing yards and four scores. In 2016, he lost his job to Danny Etling and ultimately appeared in only two games all season.” It’s clear that Harris has the ability to start for a program in need, he just has to stay healthy.

No one expected Mitch Trubisky to have the kind of season he had, prompting the junior to turn pro a year early and leave the Tar Heels scrambling to fill in another key position after the loss of several seniors. It was believed that Larry Fedora would consider in-house options like Nathan Elliot, Chazz Surratt, Logan Byrd, and Manny Miles for playing time, but their collective inexperience likely made it easy to bring in Harris.

This news also weighs on another quarterback transfer who was interested in the opening at Chapel Hill. Former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire was also considered an option for next year’s starting quarterback, however, if Harris already has his foot in the door, don’t expect Zaire to stick around.

It has yet to be seen what kind of team they can form around Harris now that many of the team’s best players are gone. However, his experience as a leader on the field will be key in what many expect to be a transition year for the Tar Heels. Instead of allowing the in-house options to get their feet wet and settle for a lost year, now they can compete in the ACC while looking to the future.