Sep 22, 2018; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Pitt Panthers receiver Maurice Ffrench (2) runs the ball as North Carolina Tar Heels safety D.J. Ford defends during the second half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. The Tar Heels won  38-35. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

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Trio of DBs opt out at North Carolina

Three North Carolina defensive backs will sit out the 2020 football season amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

The school confirmed Friday to The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., that D.J. Ford, Bryce Watts and Javon Terry will skip the season, leaving the Tar Heels lacking depth at the position.

Their move follows that of redshirt freshman offensive lineman Triston Miller, who on Thursday opted out for “personal reasons,” per the newspaper.

Ford, a senior, appeared in all 13 games and made seven starts at defensive back in 2019. He recorded 54 tackles, one sack, 2.5 tackles for loss, three hurries, two breakups, one fumble recovery and one interception. He was expected to contend for a starting role at safety.

Terry, a sophomore, saw limited action in all 13 games, making four tackles, including one for loss, and adding a sack.

Watts, a junior, has yet to play for the Tar Heels. He transferred from Virginia Tech and sat out the 2019 season under NCAA transfer rules.

In the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, released Thursday, North Carolina was ranked No. 19.

The Tar Heels are scheduled to host Syracuse on Sept. 12 to open the season.

–Field Level Media

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