Signee Update: Keeon Virgile

Keeon Virgile is hoping to don the No. 8 jersey during his North Carolina career to continue the legacy of North Miami Beach (Fla.) linebackers at UNC.

"My [linebacker] coach, Tommy Richardson, wore No. 8 when he played at North Carolina," Virgile said. "I just want to show him that I will do better than he did with his number on."

Richardson was a captain his senior season and lettered four years at UNC between 2002-05. He ended his Tar Heel career with 163 tackles, one sack, six tackles for a loss, eight pass breakups, and an interception.

After wearing No. 6 as a junior, Virgile wore No. 8 during his senior season at North Miami Beach.

Fellow freshman Travis Riley wore No. 8 during spring practice, which doesn't necessarily mean Virgile's wish won't be granted since Riley is an offensive player.

"[The UNC coaches] said they'll look into [me wearing No. 8]," Virgile said.

Since selecting UNC on Signing Day, Virgile has had weekly conversations with someone from the Tar Heels' coaching staff. He primarily speaks to Art Kaufman, UNC's linebackers coach, and Charlie Williams, his primary recruiter.

"I've just been asking them basic questions, like things I need to know when I get there," Virgile said.

One question Virgile hasn't asked is whether UNC plans on red-shirting him or not.

"I just figured my hard work would determine [whether I play as a freshman or not]," Virgile said. "But the way they are talking, I don't think I'm red-shirting."

Virgile expects to compete for time on special teams and at MIKE linebacker, his high school position.

To improve his chances for playing time, Virgile's focus has been working out. His routine is comprised of a mixture of his high school's off-season workouts and the regimen UNC sends its signees.

"A lot of stuff [from UNC's regimen] I really don't understand, so I just do what I can," Virgile said.

Since his senior football season concluded, Virgile says he has added 30 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame. He played at approximately 200 pounds.

"I want to be at 245 [pounds] before I arrive," Virgile said.

Virgile will report to campus on June 11 or 12.

Virgile, who projects as a qualifier by the NCAA Clearinghouse, is undecided on a major and is unsure who he will room with.

Keeon Virgile Profile

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