Up Close: Tyler Alberts, Part II

LEWISVILLE, N.C. --- Four days after sending out Tyler Alberts's highlight film, Forsyth Country Day's head football coach Mark Moroz received a phone call from Allen Mogridge, who recruits the Winston-Salem area for North Carolina.

* Read Part I
* Watch the Highlight Film
"Coach ‘Mo' actually called me at about 9:30 at night," Moroz said. "It led me to believe, [Mogridge] lives in his office, as most really good college coaches do.

"It usually takes coaches quite a while to get to the bottom of their film to watch. They're in the middle of their season, getting ready for their next opponent, and trying to find time to watch incoming [recruit] tape.

"Right from the get-go, Coach ‘Mo' was honest with us and said ‘I love this kid, I want this kid on our team.' I was kind of blown back by how fast the whole thing happened. North Carolina just beat everybody to the punch."

The "whole thing" actually started three months ago.

Before Alberts ever stepped foot on Forsyth Country Day's football practice field, Moroz was talking him up to college coaching staffs. At the time, Alberts's sole focus was baseball and he hadn't played football in nearly four years. But looking at his 6-foot-8, 220-pound frame paired with his athleticism, Moroz believed Alberts had a future in football. After participating in a seven-on-seven, Alberts decided to join the football team.

Wake Forest was the first to recruit Alberts, because of Moroz's connections to the school – he played offensive line and coached there. Several other schools followed suit.

The interest resulted in Alberts taking unofficial visits to Duke, NC State, Tennessee, and Wake Forest.

Meanwhile, Alberts was proving Moroz's intuition correct on the football field. He immediately made an impact for Forsyth Country Day at both tight end and defensive end.

After Forsyth Country Day's third game, Moroz cut a highlight film of Alberts and sent it out to colleges throughout the region.

"Coach Moroz got everything together for me," Alberts said. "He just went out of his way to help me get in touch with the colleges."

Four days later, the call came from Mogridge.

"[Mogridge] called me as he was watching the film," Moroz said. "He said he was excited about the kid and wanted to act fast. I think he knew that this wasn't a kid he could sit on."

Mogridge then called Alberts.

"He said he saw my film and loved it," Alberts said. "He said he and a few of the other coaches around the office started watching it [and] they all really liked it, and wanted to get me down to the campus to see what the school was really about."

Alberts accepted the invitation and attended UNC's 42-17 victory over East Carolina. Prior to kickoff, Alberts met with Mogridge in his office.

"[Mogridge] just asked me where I was at with my interest in Carolina, if I knew where I wanted to be, [and] where I was at with the other schools," Alberts said. "I told him right then that Carolina was where I wanted to be and all they had to do was give me an offer and I'd accept it."

The following Monday, Alberts's wish was granted during a phone conversation.

"[Mogridge] said ‘Hey, I have somebody who wants to talk to you,'" Alberts said. "And then he put Coach [Butch] Davis on the phone and he said ‘Hey, we're offering you a scholarship as a defensive end/athlete. What do you think?' I told him right away ‘I'm in.'"

The scholarship offer was a stress reliever for Alberts.

"To get a chance to go to college and get an education was something I've been working for, for a long time – much less a place like Carolina," Alberts said. "I couldn't have been happier."

Alberts liked UNC's combination of academics, atmosphere, and coaching staff.

"It's always been a great school and when I got down there [I realized] the coaches are great people, great coaches, and have built a great program," Alberts said. "When I got down there, I really got to experience the atmosphere and see what the fans were about. I knew it couldn't get any better than that – that's where I wanted to be."

Alberts returned to Chapel Hill the following weekend for the UNC-Clemson game.

Since Alberts made his commitment, other schools – namely Duke, NC State, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest – stepped up their recruiting efforts.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook," Moroz said. "It's really a fact that coaches are saying ‘Oh my God, I can't believe Carolina acted this fast. I can't believe they even watched the film.' A lot of coaches are just calling and just saying ‘Who is this tight end/defensive end you have.' And I have to say he's already committed to Carolina. And they're like ‘How did this happen so fast.'"

Alberts says his commitment to UNC is firm.

"I feel like once I committed to them, that's where I'm at," Alberts said. "That's where I want to be at and I don't want to see any other places."

Although UNC is recruiting Alberts as a defensive end, Moroz believes Alberts could play several different positions in college.

"I think once he gets into a strength program and [nutritional] program, wherever [UNC's] need is, that's where he's going to fit," Moroz said. "He could fit into a number of molds. He could stay at 6-8, 220 [pounds] and be a very fast, physical big target at ‘X' or ‘Z' [receiver]. But he could also gain 30-40 pounds and be very solid at tight end. He could be around 250 [pounds] and be a real quick defensive end. Or he could gain 70 pounds and be a phenomenal left tackle at 6-8, 300 [pounds]."

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