CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Tommy Hatton will start at right guard against No. 18 Georgia on Saturday, according to offensive coordinator/OL coach Chris Kapilovic.
Hatton, a redshirt freshman out of Glen Rock, N.J., beat out junior R.J. Prince for the starting spot, although both players will see the field.
“I plan to play both of them,” Kapilovic told reporters following Wednesday’s practice. “That’s probably the best I can tell you right now. I’m going to play both of them and probably have to see who is playing better and where we’re at with things.”
Hatton, who worked primarily at center last season, had been rotating at right guard with junior Brad Henson during the early part of training camp before solidifying a spot with the ones in recent weeks.
“He’s just a tough worker,” Kapilovic said. “We use the word ‘grit’ around here and that would be a great definition for him. He just battles. He competes. He gives everything he has. We’ve got those GPS units on our kids and he’s always the highest every practice.”
Prince, who had previously seen limited time at right tackle throughout his career, joined the competition battle at the start of training camp and has made significant strides in his new role.
“Mentally he’s started to come around,” Kapilovic said. “When everything’s right for him, he’s very good. When just one little thing is off, that is when you’ve got to corral him and keep pushing, but he has made tremendous improvement.”
Henson will serve as senior Lucas Crowley’s backup at center.