Tar Heels Land First 2012 Commitment

A day after inking its 2011 class, North Carolina picked up its first 2012 verbal commitment – Shakeel Rashad.

"He didn't want to wait," Jacksonville (Fla.) Episcopal head coach Dave Hess said. "He's been flirting with them for about a year now. He had ten offers, but his mind was [made up] – that's where he wanted to be."

Rashad, a 6-foot-2, 213-pound linebacker, selected UNC over verbal scholarship offers from Boston College, Central Florida, Duke, Maryland, South Carolina, Wake Forest

"The biggest thing for him was it's a big school, but it's not too big," Hess said. "I think it's 17,000 students versus if he went to Florida or UCF you're talking about 50,000.

"He was actually born and raised around the Carolinas area. He liked that whole area."

Rashad camped at UNC last summer and attended the UNC-Virginia Tech game in Kenan Stadium last fall. He has also visited Central Florida, Duke, South Carolina, and Wake Forest.

Rashad, who will graduate from Episcopal in December and enroll at UNC in January, had planned to make a decision before the summer, according to Hess.

"He didn't want to wait," Hess said. "He loved it that much."

According to Hess, Rashad is just as good on the field as he is off.

"He's one of those guys that is as solid as they come," Hess said. "He's one of those guys that you want to put in front to represent your program – you don't have to worry about doing the things he shouldn't be doing. North Carolina is getting a good one."

While national star ratings and rankings for the 2012 class won't be out for months to come, The Gainesville Sun published a Florida 2012 Top 50 last week, and Rashad checked in at No. 32.

Shakeel Rashad Profile

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