Top North Carolina and West Virginia Players Not Playing in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl

A slew of players will be missing in action from the Duke's Mayo Bowl when North Carolina and West Virginia square off. Which top athletes are set to play?

The teams may look a bit different in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl when the North Carolina Tar Heels and West Virginia Mountaineers face off. The transfer portal and NFL Draft opt-outs have taken their toll on teams all over the country, so which players may be missing in action from this year’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl?

Top North Carolina, West Virginia Players Not Playing the Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Using the College Football Network Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker, we know the players who won’t be playing in the Military Bowl and will miss the Virginia Tech vs. Tulane game.

For the full game preview and prediction: Duke’s Mayo Bowl Prediction: North Carolina vs. West Virginia Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

North Carolina Players To Miss the Duke’s Mayo Bowl

The Tar Heels retain most of their rushing production in the form of Omarion Hampton, a Doak Walker Award finalist. But without Elijah Green and George Pettway, depth could very well be an issue, though neither played a large role this year.

The real question on offense for North Carolina is set to be whether or not Drake Maye will suit up. Maye is set to miss the game, but questions remain. Tez Walker has declared for the NFL Draft, and no word on whether Walker or LB Cedric Gray will suit up or in what capacity they’ll play.

MORE: College Football Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

Andre Green Jr., Tychaun Chapman and Kamari Morales combined for fewer than 20 receptions this season and less than 300 yards. Like the RB duo, if depth is a concern, that’s the only time these losses could be felt.

On defense for UNC, only Don Chapman was a starter and a vital contributor in 2023. The Tar Heels safety recorded two picks and a handful of passes defended and could very well have the lack of his presence felt early and often.

North Carolina Players Expected To Miss the Duke’s Mayo Bowl:

  • Drake Maye, QB (NFL Draft)
  • Russell Tabor, QB (transfer portal)
  • Jefferson Boaz, QB (transfer portal)
  • Elijah Green, RB (transfer portal)
  • George Pettaway, RB (transfer portal)
  • Andre Green Jr., WR (transfer portal)
  • Tychaun Chapman, WR (transfer portal)
  • Kamari Morales, TE (transfer portal)
  • Kedrick Bingley-Jones, DL (transfer portal)
  • Jalen Brooks, LB (transfer portal)
  • Deuce Caldwell, LB (transfer portal)
  • Sebastian Cheeks, LB (transfer portal)
  • Tayon Holloway, CB (transfer portal)
  • Major Byrd, CB (transfer portal)
  • D.J. Jones, S (transfer portal)
  • Don Chapman, S (transfer portal)
  • Ryan Coe, K (transfer portal)
  • Cole Maynard, P (transfer portal)

West Virginia Players To Miss the Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Though their losses look like a laundry list of who’s who, the WVU offense is actually relatively held together for the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. WVU will be without four receivers but fewer than six total receptions and less production.

It’s the defensive side of the ball and the status of some top-tier draft prospects that are the bigger questions for WVU. If center Zach Frazier is in the action, be mindful of him opening some big gains for West Virginia.

The depth of the Mountaineers on defense will be tested without some of their losses here. Michael Lockhart’s presence in the middle of the defensive front could be hard to overcome without him there.

Elsewhere, Lance Dixon was a six-game starter, Hershey McLaurin recorded a handful of pass breakups, and Andrew Wilson-Lamp and Keyshawn Cobb had their moments in relief this year.

West Virginia Players Expected To Miss the Duke’s Mayo Bowl:

  • Justin Johnson Jr., RB (transfer portal)
  • Ja’Shaun Poke, WR (transfer portal)
  • Davis Mallinger, WR (transfer portal)
  • Jeremiah Aaron, WR (transfer portal)
  • Cortez Braham, WR (transfer portal)
  • Theo Grabill, TE (transfer portal)
  • James Heard, EDGE (transfer portal)
  • Michael Lockhart, DL (transfer portal)
  • Andrew Wilson-Lamp, CB (transfer portal)
  • Keyshawn Cobb, DB (transfer portal)
  • Christion Stokes, S (transfer portal)
  • Lance Dixon, S (transfer portal)
  • Hershey McLaurin, S (transfer portal)
  • Danny King, P (transfer portal)

Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!