Redshirt sophomore running back Brandon Barnes from Bunn (N.C.) High will miss the rest of the spring and is out indefinitely following surgery Saturday night to repair a dislocated ankle suffered earlier that afternoon during a spring scrimmage.
Barnes had rushed nine times for 18 yards in the scrimmage before his injury. Last year, Barnes played in three games and ran 25 times for 79 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 33 more yards. Barnes had been expected to compete with redshirt junior Curtis Underwood and sophomore James Washington for the starting tailback job.
Underwood led all running backs with 14 carries for 44 yards in the scrimmage Saturday. He also caught three passes for 28 yards. Washington had 12 attempts for 35 yards.
Article Continues Below
If Barnes is not able to return this fall, that means that incoming freshmen Anthony Creecy and Mustafa Greene will likely be called upon to play as true freshmen.
Barnes is the second injury that O'Brien has announced this spring. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Gary Grant would miss the rest of the spring because of an abdominal injury. He missed most of his first season in Raleigh with a serious hip injury, but returned last year to record five tackles in 33 plays, appearing in six games.
"Gary Grant is done for the spring," O'Brien said Saturday. "Whatever he came in with, a fractured pelvis or whatever, something is still not right. We'll shut him down and see if we can fix whatever is wrong, so he'll be ready in August."