Season Wrap-Up: Shawn Underwood

After sitting out Fuquay-Varina's season opener with an injury, North Carolina verbal commitment Shawn Underwood put together a dominant senior campaign, accumulating 74 tackles and nine sacks.

"I think I had a pretty good season," Underwood said. "I was rusty the first few games, but I eventually played like I did [as a junior]."

In late July, it was believed that Underwood would miss two months of action with a quad tear. The tear, though, wasn't nearly as bad as first believed.

"They told me that I could still play with [the injury]," Underwood said. "I'll have to do some rehab after the season."

Since he wasn't 100-percent healthy, Underwood solely played defensive tackle throughout the regular season. But in both of Fuquay-Varina's playoff games, the 6-foot-2, 318-pounder started both ways like he did during his junior season.

"I was just coming off injury, so I wasn't as good of shape as I could have been," Underwood said. "[During the regular season], they wanted to make sure I had breaks. I was supposed to start both ways [throughout the entire season], but my defensive line coach was begging the coaches to let me play just defense."

Fuquay-Varina went 11-2 with both its losses coming at the hands of conference rival Panther Creek by a combine differential of eight points.

"We should have won both games – the first one was in overtime," Underwood said. "Losing to the same team twice could have been prevented by a few mistakes. There were some breakdowns in the secondary, but the quarterback was pretty good.

"But there's nothing you can do about that now. You've just got to move on."

Moving on means Underwood has shifted his focus towards being as healthy as possible for the Shrine Bowl, which is on Dec. 18.

"To me, [the Shrine Bowl] ends a great career I've had at Fuquay-Varina," Underwood said. "I'm proud to represent our school."

Underwood verbally committed to UNC in mid-July. However, when defensive line coach John Blake stepped down, Underwood softened his commitment.

"[I softened it] because of the coaching change, but I don't think that's that big of a deal to me," Underwood said. "I want to make sure I check out my options."

This Wednesday, Underwood will have an in-home visit with Everett Withers, UNC's defensive coordinator, and Sam Pittman, who took over Underwood's recruitment after Blake resigned.

"We'll probably try to figure out [my UNC official visit] then," Underwood said.

Underwood already has an official visit scheduled with Florida for the weekend of Jan. 7 and has talked with Penn State's coaches about an official trip. PSU offered him a scholarship during the spring, but the Gators have yet to officially offer.

"As of right now, I'm just taking other visits to get a point of view from these other schools," he said.

Underwood says that he projects as a full qualifier.

Shawn Underwood Profile

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