Posted: 7/13/2014 8:20:08 PM
When I wrote for another website I believed that the next big star in North Carolina’s offense would be TJ Thorpe especially with how Larry Fedora focuses on the screen game. After watching his performance in the spring game I dubbed TJ Thorpe as the Tar Heels #Thorpedo because he was going to be a dangerous weapon defenses would have to prepare for. Unfortunately TJ Thorpe broke his foot that fall and took a redshirt year. After a year back into playing football number five is prepared to have a big year in Chapel Hill.
With Quinshad Davis leading the Tar heel receiving group, Bug Howard’s play making ability and Ryan Switzer’s punt return highlights, TJ Thorpe often gets left out of the conversation. Coming out of High School Thorpe was in ESPN’s top 150 players and was ranked the 11th best athlete in the country. Butch Davis was excited about the big play potential from this young player.
As a freshman Thorpe led the ACC in kickoff return average at 26.7 yards per attempt and set a school record of 960 yards for the season which included a 100 yard kickoff return versus Clemson. The person whose record he broke was arguably the best return specialist to ever play at UNC in Brandon Tate.
In 2013 Thorpe caught 24 passes for 267 yards which is modest numbers for a ACC wide receiver. I believe you will see Thorpe increase his production this fall as he is 100% recovered from he ankle injured that set him back. Not only was Thorpe coming back from injury he had less experience in the new offense than Eric Ebron, Quinshad Davis and the other Wide Receivers. Learning a new offense and regaining your confidence can slow you down on the specifically if you are thinking too much. Ryan Switzer alluded to that last year that he was thinking far too much instead of letting his abilities take over.
TJ Thorpe will be a valuable weapon for Larry Fedora if he can regain that magic we saw his first year in Chapel Hill.
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