North Carolina's stellar in-state recruiting in the Class of 2011 continued Tuesday morning when lineman Shaun Underwood of Fuquay-Varina High committed to the Tar Heels.
Underwood, who's 6-foot-2 and 320 pounds, is rated the No. 29 prospect in the state by rivals.com. He gives North Carolina eight commitments from among the state's top 30 prospects.
He said the school's academic excellence over a broad range of curricula and the academic support for athletes were among the reasons he chose North Carolina. He also seriously considered Wake Forest and Penn State, but said he wanted to stay close to home.
"I don't like being away from my family," he said. "I want my mom and my grandparents to see me play as much as they can. That would mean a lot to me."
Underwood said that North Carolina's coaches initially were recruiting him as an offensive guard, but later found out that he also plays defensive tackle and asked him which position he prefers.
He told them he likes defense better, but is flexible.
"It’s amazing," said Fuquay-Varina coach Ryan Habich, "they like him on offense and defense, it’s hard to say which side he’s better on. He’s just very special. The thing that separates him from most big guys is that he has so much speed."