Signee Update: James Summers

After leading Greensboro (N.C.) Page to an undefeated season and a NCHSAA 4AA title in football, North Carolina signee James Summers came two games shy of bringing a championship home in another sport.

"It would have been lovely to win rings in both [sports]," Summers said. "But it was a pretty successful [basketball] season. There were a couple of games that we should have won easily. But for us to come out there and work as a team – we had a couple players quit – we went pretty far. If we had a couple of those players, we would have won a state championship in basketball."

Summers, who quarterbacked the football team, played small forward for the basketball squad, averaging 15 points and eight rebounds a game.

In preparation for his UNC career, Summers has taken the spring sports season off.

"My focus has been my grades," Summers said. "I'm trying to maintain that and get a higher [test] score, so I don't have a problem getting into school. Other than that, I've been working out."

The NCAA Clearinghouse uses a sliding scale to determine qualifying status for incoming freshmen. Currently, Summers' core grade point average and test scores don't match up on the sliding scale. However, he is scheduled to take the SAT twice more – May 5 and June 2 – and the ACT on June 9.

"I'm pretty close," Summers said. "My grades went up a lot last quarter, so that will help."

Whenever Summers receives a score that will put him in qualifying range will determine when he will enroll at UNC. That could be in the second summer semester on June 21 or the fall semester on Aug. 21.

Just in case he doesn't qualify, Summers has begun to consider a "Plan B."

"I'll probably go to a prep school, like Hargrave [Military Academy]," Summers said. "I'm supposed to talk to [UNC] this week about it."

Naturally, Summers would prefer to be in Chapel Hill this fall, but if that doesn't work out and he needs to enroll at Hargrave he sees positives in the detour.

"I'm 17 years old, so it will give me a little more time to grow," Summers said.

If he fails to qualify, Summers' recruitment would restart. Regardless, he says he plans to honor his verbal commitment to UNC.

"I'm going to definitely stick with Carolina," Summers said.

On the workout front, Summers has been following a mix of the regimen UNC sends all of its signees and his high school football team's workouts.

"I like [UNC's workout] a lot," Summers said. "I just haven't had a chance to do too much of the running part, which I'll start this week. I'm going to go hard on the running part this week."

With the help of the workout routine, Summers, who played his senior football season at 203 pounds but dropped below the 200 mark during the basketball season, is now up to 208 pounds. That's two pounds shy from where he wants to be when he enrolls at UNC.

Summers maintains weekly conversations with Blake Anderson, UNC's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

"He just makes sure I stay on track with my grades," Summers said. "He asks me how my family is doing. And he tells me how excited he is for me to come down there and how he thinks I'll do well in the offense."

Summers attended UNC's Spring Game, where he was able to witness UNC's newly installed one-back spread offense.

"I liked the offense," Summers said. "On my official visit I watched the film and I liked it from there. But to actually see it in Carolina Blue, I liked it a lot. It's a lot like what we do at Page."

The visit was Summers's first to Chapel Hill as a Tar Heel. He switched his verbal commitment from NC State to UNC a few days after officially visiting Chapel Hill.

"I felt real comfortable," Summers said. "It got me anxious."

Anderson has told Summers that he can continue to wear his high school jersey number, No. 18, as a Tar Heel.

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