Signee Update: Norkeithus Otis

North Carolina signee Norkeithus Otis paid special attention to the NFL Draft late last week, which saw the selection of nine UNC players including two from his projected position - linebacker.

"It just takes it to another level of ‘Hey, if you work and compete, and then one day you can be put in the position they're in,'" Otis said.

Otis' primary position was defensive end at Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook, but he often played linebacker to compensate for injury. He says Art Kaufman, UNC's linebackers coach, has penciled him in for WILL linebacker.

"I played both of [the outside linebacker positions] in high school – WILL and SAM," Otis said. "As long as you know what you're doing [and] as long as you're able to put yourself in the right position, you can play any position."

Whether Otis will red-shirt or not this coming season hasn't been discussed.

Since his senior season ended, Otis has been running and lifting in preparation for his UNC career. His workout routine consists of a mixture of the regimen UNC sent him and his high school's off-season workout.

"I'm getting strong, faster – everything is going well," Otis said.

After playing his senior football season at 200 pounds, Otis says he's up to 215. His goal is to reach 220 pounds by the time he arrives on campus.

"That's [the weight] both UNC and I agreed would be a good starting point," Otis said.

Otis graduates from Ashbrook on June 12 and then leaves for UNC the following day.

"I'm just thinking ‘keep grinding, stay humble, and just going in with a great attitude ready to work,'" Otis said. "I'm excited. I actually got to go down [to UNC] for spring break for a little bit and talk to some of the guys, be around them, and see how it feels. It was a great experience. I'm ready."

Additionally, Otis was on campus about a month ago for UNC's Spring Game.

"Carolina football is a great atmosphere," Otis said. "The people around you – the players, the coaches – it's a great environment. We had a great time. I'm ready to be out there next year."

Otis was hoping to continue to wear his high school jersey number, No. 8, during his UNC career, but that, according to Otis, doesn't seem likely.

"I had [No.] 8 in mind, but it has already been taken," Otis said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to get No. 9 or Bruce Carter's number, [No. 54] – it would feel good to play in a number like that."

Otis is unsure what he will major in at UNC.

Norkeithus Otis Profile

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