Heels Offer In-State Punter

Bradley Pinion, a punter from Concord (N.C.) Northwest Cabarrus, received his second scholarship offer on Thursday.

"I actually don't know all the details yet," Pinion said. "… Coach Mo' [Allen Mogridge] sent me an email and told me to call him, so I did. He was like, ‘Hey man I have good news: you're our guy [and] we want to offer you. But I'm in a staff meeting right now, I'll email you when I'm out and tell you all the details.' I said, ‘Yea, that sounds good.'"

East Carolina is the only other school to verbally offer Pinion. But the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is receiving significant interest from Clemson, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, South Carolina, TCU, and Virginia Tech.

"[UNC] is definitely one of my top picks," Pinion said. "It means a great deal [to be offered by UNC]. It's close to my house. We have a lot of family and friends that are Carolina fans, so it means a lot.

"And it's also good to get another offer, so that I have a choice of where I want to go."

Pinion doesn't have a firm list of favorite schools, but says Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Georgia, UNC, and South Carolina are among the schools sticking out in his mind.

"That's just the top few [schools]," Pinion said. "They are a few ACC [and] SEC schools that are just above everybody else in my book."

By the end of June, Pinion plans to make a verbal commitment.

"Hopefully, I will have a good bit of offers by then and be able to weigh all the pros and cons and make my choice," Pinion said. "I'm graduating early so that I can enroll early and get in for spring practice. My school's deadline for me is I have to know by the end of July. I'd rather make my decision by the end of June that way I'll know where I'm going and I can just focus on football for my senior year."

In the meantime, Pinion has a hectic camp schedule. He plans to camp at Georgia on June 1, Clemson on June 8, Duke on June 10, Auburn on June 13-14, South Carolina on June 16, and Florida State on June 21.

"[UNC] told me I didn't need to come to their camp," Pinion said. "They had seen what they needed to see and the guy that runs their camp is my kicking coach, Dan Orner."

Mogridge saw what he needed to see from Pinion during an evaluation visit to Northwest Cabarrus.

"[Mogridge] actually got to see me kick during spring workouts," Pinion said. "He really liked what he saw. I was hitting the ball really well that day. He said from then on out, he's wanted to offer me – he just hadn't gotten the okay from Coach [Butch] Davis. He finally got the okay from Coach Davis [on Thursday]."

While he won't camp there, Pinion, who attended UNC's Junior Day in March, says he "definitely" plans to return to Chapel Hill before making his collegiate decision.

"I want to visit just to talk to Coach Davis, talk to Coach Mo', and get around the players," Pinion said.

Besides UNC's Junior Day, Pinion has made unofficial visits to Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.

In addition to Orner, who was UNC's starting kicker in 2002 and 2003, Pinion is also good friends with Tar Heel signee Miller Snyder and early enrollee Travis Riley. Pinion says those connections "absolutely" help UNC's chances.

"Dan is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me," Pinion said. "He's been a big asset to me.

"Miller definitely attempts to recruit me just in a friendly teasing kind of way. Dan tries not to - he just wants me to make the decision that's right for me. "

Besides Thursday's brief conversation, Pinion has spoken to Mogridge several times the last few months.

"He said he's going to give me the chance to compete for everything," Pinion said. "I went ahead and told him that I don't particularly want to kick field goals in college. He said, ‘Well that works perfectly. You can have punting, Miller can have field goals, and you and Miller can compete for kickoffs each week.'"

Pinion isn't opposed to competing against his good friend, Snyder.

"Miller is a great competitor," Pinion said. "Every time we're together we always help out each other and make each other better. I think competing with him for a couple of years will just increase our potential."

Pinion handles all three kicking disciplines for Northwest Cabarrus. Last season, he averaged 68 yards per kickoff with a 4.1-second average hang time and 38 yards per punt with an average hang time of 4.3 seconds. His punt average was hindered by an unreliable long snapper.

Last weekend at the Kohl's Kicking Camp, Pinion booted a 100-yard kickoff, a record for the camp, which tours the nation every year. Aided by his 100-yard bomb, Pinion averaged 86 yards per kickoff during the camp with a 4.4-second average hang time. On punts, he averaged 56 yards per attempt with a 4.4-second hang time average and a long of 70 yards.

Bradley Pinion Profile


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