North Carolina tailback Anthony Elzy did not travel with the team to Nashville, and will not play in the Thursday’s Music City Bowl, because he did not meet his obligations as a student athlete at UNC, team spokesman Kevin Best confirmed today.
With Johnny White and Giovani Bernard injured, Ryan Houston redshirting and Shaun Draughn in and out of the lineup, Elzy's ascent from second-string fullback to starting tailback had been key at the end of the season for the Tar Heels. In UNC’s final three games, he rushed for 236 yards and caught 20 passes for 301 yards.
"He's just been a lifesaver," UNC quarterback T.J. Yates said about Elzy recently. "As a back, there's nothing he's not able to give you, and we needed all he had."
Without Elzy, Draughn, a senior, should get plenty of carries. White could also be a possibility. He broke his collarbone in early November after leading the team in rushing (720 yards) before the injury, and his timeframe for recovery was 6 to 8 weeks. Coach Butch Davis said earlier this month that there was a chance he could play in the bowl; Best said White was not practicing Monday.
Hunter Furr, who had 5 carries for 29 yards this season, is another option.