Signee Update: Justin Thomason

Since concluding his senior football season, North Carolina signee Justin Thomason has added 20 pounds to his 6-foot-3 frame.

The defensive end is now up to 255 pounds.

"I want to be at 260 before I get there," Thomason said.

The weight gain isn't a result of Thomason sitting at home all day and eating potatoes chips while lounging on the couch. After helping McDonough (Ga.) Eagle's Landing Christian Academy to the GHSA Class A semi-finals in football, he hit the weight room hard, while also following the running portion of the workout regimen UNC sent all its signees.

During his recruitment, the exact position Thomason would play in UNC's 4-2-5 defense was undetermined – both end and Bandit were discussed. Thomason, who has played end and linebacker for Eagle's Landing Christian, says he has since been told that he's arriving at UNC as a true defensive end.

"I'll do whatever to help the team," Thomason said. "But I'd rather have my hand down."

Since Signing Day, Thomason has stayed in regular contact with Deke Adams, UNC's defensive line coach, but also speaks frequently with UNC's academic support staff.

"They talk about grades – if I keeping them up," Thomason said. "And they talk to me about just the workout stuff that I'm doing and how much am I running."

Thomason is awaiting final clearance from the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"They're still waiting to clear a few online classes that I took in tenth grade," Thomason said. "They already got some of them cleared – they're just waiting on the other ones. So it shouldn't be a problem."

The clearing of those classes appears to be a minor formality. A back-up plan (e.g. prep school) hasn't been discussed and Thomason isn't being asked to retake the SAT or ACT.

If everything goes as planned, Thomason will arrive in Chapel Hill on June 16 and enroll in the second summer semester. He plans to major in a sports medicine field.

"I want something as close to football as possible," Thomason said.

UNC has retired Thomason's high school jersey number, No. 99, in honor of George Barclay. Therefore, Thomason is hoping to sport a number as close to it as possible as a Tar Heel.

"I'm thinking about something in the 90s – 91 or 92," Thomason said. "[No. 99] is just one of my favorite numbers."

Thomason has discussed rooming together with fellow incoming freshmen Jessie Rogers and Phillip Williamson.

UNC is recruiting Thomason's teammate Isaac Rochell, a four-star defensive end. Rochell hasn't listed the Tar Heels among his favorite schools, but that's not because Thomason hasn't tried to persuade his former line mate.

"I've been trying to recruit him," Thomason said. "I just put the thought in his head. It's hard to say [how successful I've been]. He has a lot of coming at him. I should at least get a visit out of him."

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