The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday May 16th

T.J. Logan aims to make an impact each time he has the ball

<p>UNC running back T.J. Logan (8) sheds a tackle from Georgia defensive back Maurice Smith (2) en route to his first touch down of the day. The Tar Heels fell to the Bulldogs 33-24 on Saturday in Atlanta.</p>
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UNC running back T.J. Logan (8) sheds a tackle from Georgia defensive back Maurice Smith (2) en route to his first touch down of the day. The Tar Heels fell to the Bulldogs 33-24 on Saturday in Atlanta.

The senior running back saw his workload decrease last season with the emergence of junior Elijah Hood, but he has remained upbeat and ready when his number is called.

“I feel like when I’m on the field, no matter how many touches I get, I’m just gonna try to make you remember one touch,” Logan said.

Logan did that and then some Saturday night against Georgia, running for 80 yards and a touchdown on just six carries. He also returned a kick 95 yards for a touchdown to start the second half.

“He’s an explosive player,” said head coach Larry Fedora. “Anytime he touches the ball, he has a chance to go all the way.”

As Logan waited to enter the game, he made sure he was prepared by studying the Georgia defense.

“I was focused and even when Elijah was on the field, I was still getting mental reps,” he said. “He would come off the field and I would ask him what type of front he was getting and things like that.”

The challenge for Logan was to temper his excitement and remain patient when he trotted onto the field.

“I feel like last year, I was kind of pressing sometimes early in the season for the big run,” Logan said. “I’ve been letting it come to me with slower steps in the backfield, and I feel like it’s opening up the line to make blocks.”

For offensive coordinator Chris Kapilovic, Logan’s play came as no surprise.

“When he got the ball in his hands, he was electric,” Kapilovic said. “That’s our expectation for him. I think we have two of the best backs in the country, so we just have to make sure we get them the ball and let them work.”

Logan’s patient mindset helped him in the backfield, but there was no time to waste when fielding a kick.

“Kick return is more of a one cut, get up field kind of deal,” Logan said. “You can’t be back there dancing, because by the time you look up they’re already down the field. And at running back, you can make more moves at the line of scrimmage.”

There was no need to dance on the kick return to start the second half, as the running back found an alley and never looked back.

“At first, we were doing a lot of middle returns and there were a lot of guys coming down, so we decided to do something to get on the outside,” Logan said.

“All I saw was Dan Mastromatteo and Cole Holcomb made two great blocks, and I got to the kicker. And, of course, you can’t get tackled by the kicker.”

As a former high school state champion sprinter, Logan should never have to worry about getting caught by the kicker.

But heading forward this season, the senior will continue to have just one concern on his mind — making his touches memorable.

@david_adler94

sports@dailytarheel.com



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