Womble Set to Return to UNC

Jamal Womble's plan to transfer back into North Carolina is right on schedule.

"It feels good just to know everything is in my control," said Womble. "It's all on me. I don't have to worry about anything crazy happening, as far as ‘Oh you might need extra classes.' Getting everything out the way and cleared is good. I just have to take care of my business."

After three semesters at UNC, Womble, a red-shirt sophomore, became academically ineligible and transferred to Hutchinson (Kan.) CC.

In order for Womble to return to UNC, he has to graduate from Hutchinson and transfer a certain amount of core classes. Since his arrival at Hutchinson, his academic advisers have kept in constant contact with UNC's admissions to make certain he met those requirements.

"Since I've already been admitted [to UNC], it wasn't as hard [to meet the requirements] if I hadn't been [previously] accepted," Womble said.

On Wednesday, Womble met with one of his academic advisors.

"[My advisor] gave me my graduation papers and she was like ‘Fill out all your graduation papers. UNC has cleared all your classes. You just have to pass these classes you're currently enrolled in and you'll be back [at UNC] in the spring,'" Womble said.

Womble is currently taking 14 credit hours. Heading into the fall semester, he only needed ten to graduate.

Meanwhile, Womble has been helping out Hutchinson's football team, which is undefeated and ranked second in the NJCAA. He started off the season strong and was among the nation's leaders in rushing. The last several games, though, he has dealt with nagging injuries.

"The season started off great," Womble said. "… And then I had a minor ankle injury – it was one of those injuries where I could have played, but we were playing against lower teams in the league and the coach decided not to play me. I came back and ended up getting a contusion in my calf muscle."

Womble is listed as doubtful for Saturday's mega match-up against No. 1 Butler (Kan.) CC.

"I'm going to try to get out there Saturday," Womble said. "We're playing the No. 1 team in the nation. It's pretty much for the conference championship. This calf injury is frustrating."

Womble is free to transfer to whatever school he wants, thus his accomplishments on the field have attracted interest, including scholarship offers, from several schools.

"I'm not even sure how many offers I have," Womble said. "My position coach says I have a lot of interest."

Womble is so disinterested in other schools that he has no clue which schools have an interest in him. As a byproduct of that, several of his Hutchinson teammates are now interested in UNC.

"Everyday I'm always talking about UNC," Womble said. "If UNC is on, I make sure we're watching the UNC game. I let everybody know how it is [at UNC]. A lot of guys are like ‘Wow, I want to go there.' I also get a thousand questions about the [NCAA] investigation."

Womble has been impressed with how UNC has been playing this season.

"I think the season is going great when you take into account the off-the-field distractions and the players sitting out," Womble said. "There are a lot of big time players not playing. But guys are stepping up, like I know Johnny [White] is balling out and Dwight [Jones] had a big game last week…

"There's no reason they can't win the ACC Championship. They only have one loss in the conference."

Womble speaks to the UNC coaching staff, typically Ken Browning, twice a week. Late last week, though, he had a long discussion with Butch Davis.

"[Davis] was just letting me know that he's ready for me to be back," Womble said. "He was letting me know that he saved my locker and my jersey for me."

The UNC coaches expect Womble to make an immediate impact next season.

"They told me they want me to come in and hit the ground running," Womble said. "They told me if I was there this year, I'd be playing quite a bit.

"When I get back, I'll be one of the older guys. I'm going to try to embrace that role as a leader.

"If Ryan Houston red-shirts, we're going to have a lot of experience in the backfield. The one thing you can't coach and can't teach is experience."

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