Friday, June 12, 2009

North Carolina grabs another Hurst

If you thought the recent decision of offensive lineman Aaron Stahl to forgo his final year of eligibility would open another spot for a member North Carolina’s huge and highly rated incoming class of 2009, think again.

That opening will fall instead to tight end Nelson Hurst, whose transfer from Mississippi State was recently reported by Name sound familiar? Maybe because the Tar Heels already have a 2010 commitment from James Hurst, his brother and one of the top prep linemen in the nation.

Now he and Nelson will get to play together, after Nelson sits out his transfer year as a redshirt and James plays his final high school season at Plainfield High in Indianapolis.

Nelson, who will have three years of eligibility left in Chapel Hill, played as a true freshman for the Bulldogs, starting ten of 12 games, blocking well and catching two passes. But the program is shifting from a West Coast style-offense to a spread, which would limit his future use, and that prompted his transfer to UNC.

*Despite the addition of Nelson Hurst, North Carolina appears to have its scholarship numbers squared away. Three players are expected in enroll at Hargrave Military Academy to get their academics in order next season, which will place the Tar Heels at the limit.

*Also making a difference is the fact that highly rated football commitment Donavan Tate, a remarkable athlete, was picked first by San Diego and third overall in this week’s MLB Draft. That means that—with the despised but effective Scott Boras as his agent—Tate could wind up with a bonus of $5 million or more. And it also means that Tate will almost certainly never set foot on the Kenan Stadium turf.

--Stan Olson

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