Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Tar Heels WR Downs opts out of Holiday Bowl for NFL leap

NCAA Football: ACC Football Championship-Clemson at North Carolina

Dec 3, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Josh Downs (11) runs in front of Clemson Tigers safety Andrew Mukuba (1) during the third quarter of the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina receiver Josh Downs is opting out of the Holiday Bowl against No. 15 Oregon to prepare for a jump to the NFL draft.

Downs announced his decision in a social media post Friday, less than a week after he had 11 catches for 100 yards in the Tar Heels’ loss to No. 10 Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. He led the team with 94 catches for 1,029 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games.

Downs ranks third in the Bowl Subdivision ranks with 8.5 catches per game, while his 11 TD catches is tied for seventh.

His top stretch came when he had a run of four straight 100-yard games with at least nine catches each time. That included 15 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown at Virginia and 11 catches for 154 yards and three scores in a win at Wake Forest that clinched the ACC’s Coastal Division title.

Downs had ranked 10th in FBS in 2021 with 1,335 yards receiving to go with eight scores.