S.C. Lineman Favors UNC

One of the largest recruits -- literally -- on campus on Saturday for North Carolina's home opener was T.J. Haney, a 2015 lineman from the Palmetto State.

"It went great," Haney said. "It went better than even I expected. The atmosphere was great; the fans were wild; the coaches, the players – everybody was great."

Haney, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound offensive tackle from Gaffney (S.C.), was surprised by how gracious a host UNC was on Saturday.

"I thought it would just be like they'd focus on them because it was game day, but they actually paid us attention and made us feel real comfortable," Haney said.

In particular, Haney received ample individual attention from Gunter Brewer, who recruits Gaffney for UNC.

"He mostly just talked about staying on track with my academics and keep doing great on the field and hopefully I'll be coming up to North Carolina for good," Haney said.

Coming up to UNC for good is a notion that Haney, who has also visited Clemson and Duke, is fond of.

"North Carolina is definitely my favorite," Haney said. "It's more than just football – it's academics, it's about what you're going to do after football, everybody is just great people, and I just love the atmosphere."

The main obstacle is the absence of a UNC scholarship offer.

"They really wanted me to come up to camp, but I couldn't make it this year," Haney said. "I'm going to have to come next year and send them film."

UNC could bypass a camp evaluation and offer Haney sooner. Haney is in the process of putting together his junior highlight film. He plans to send out clips from his first four games during Gaffney's bye week, which is next week.

"I have a pretty good highlight film that I haven't put together yet," Haney said. "I know North Carolina is going to like it, though."

On the field, Haney was familiar with the offense UNC employs.

"It's the same up-tempo offense that Gaffney runs," Haney said. "Since it's very similar to Gaffney, I think I'd fit right in to it."

Haney also couldn't help but be excited to see his former teammate, Quinshad Davis, hold down a featured role.

"It's great to see him out there," Haney said. "He said he loves it and I just love it for him. I'd love to be up there with him one day."

Although a couple of years separate Davis and Haney, Haney says they are "good friends."

"When I was in ninth grade, I looked up to that guy," Haney said. "I was moved up to varsity my ninth grade year and I blocked for him."

It wasn't until his sophomore year, though, that Haney earned a starting role on Gaffney's offense line. He starts at right tackle, but expects to move to the left side for his senior season.

Haney plans to return to UNC later this season for a game, as well as Duke and Vanderbilt.

T.J. Haney Profile

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