Former Tornado Balfour leaving UNC Tar Heels

Dontae Balfour

Telegraph Staff Writer

University of North Carolina defensive back Dontae Balfour, a 2021 Bradford High School graduate, announced he is entering the transfer portal.

Balfour, a redshirt freshman, started the first game this season, recording six tackles in a 56-24 win over Florida A&M. He appeared in only three more games, being limited to a role on special teams.

In 2021, Balfour appeared in two games before eventually redshirting.

Balfour, who is one of 12 UNC players to announce they’re entering the transfer portal (as of Dec. 7), shared the following announcement on social media:

“I want to start off by thanking Carolina for all of the support for these past two years. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities I have had and the relationships that I have built through this program.

“To (Cornerbacks Coach Dré) Bly, (Head Coach) Mack Brown, (Co-Defensive Coordinator Charlton) Warren and (Assistant Head Coach for Defense Gene) Chizik, thank you for your guidance and pushing me to be a better man on and off the field.

“I also want to thank God for giving me this opportunity to play the game I love and leading me on this journey.

“With this being said, I have decided to enter the transfer portal and continue my academic and athletic career elsewhere.”

Balfour, listed at 6-1, 180 by UNC, was a first-team Class 4A All-State selection after his senior year at BHS. He recorded team highs in tackles (77) and interceptions (4).

Overall, Balfour had 201 tackles and 14 interceptions in three years of varsity play.

Balfour was set to participate in the early signing period in December 2020 and announce his pick between Auburn and Missouri, but decided to delay his decision until the Feb. 3, 2021, signing day. Schools such as North Carolina, LSU, Oregon and Tennessee made him offers after he made that announcement.

When he took to the BHS auditorium stage for the February signing ceremony that consisted of him and four of his teammates, Balfour had announced that Auburn, LSU and North Carolina were his finalists.