Signee Update: Josh Cabrera

After helping guide Jacksonville (N.C.) Northside to the NCHSAA 2AA East semifinals in football, North Carolina signee Josh Cabrera led its basketball team to the NCHSAA 2A East final – one game away from the championship contest.

In the East final, Northside came up 11 points short against eventual championship Kinston. Cabrera, who won the conference tournament MVP, averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.6 steals per game in the final non-football season of his athletic career.

Since that March 8 loss, Cabrera's focus has been on his forthcoming UNC career at as wide receiver for the Tar Heels.

"Right now, I'm just working out really," Cabrera said. "I'm working out, running routes, catching balls, running – doing all I can to prepare myself."

Cabrera is taking a weight training class this semester. And then every day after school, he follows the workout regimen provided by UNC's strength and conditioning staff.

"[UNC's workout] is a lot more intense," Cabrera said. "It's more like my workout at [Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County]. At Northside, the weight program is not top notch. [UNC's] is a whole lot of sets and reps. It's just more rigorous.

"I'm been adding weight and getting a lot stronger. I haven't really timed myself, so I don't know about speed wise, but I do feel faster."

Cabrera, who weighs himself every Monday, says that his weight hovers between 187 and 193 pounds. He played his senior football season with 184 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame.

"The [UNC] coaches say I'm fine where I'm at right now," Cabrera said.

Similar to when he was going through the recruiting process, Cabrera communicates regularly with assistants Gunter Brewer and Dan Disch.

"They're talking to me more like coaches and not like recruiters since they aren't trying to get me anymore," Cabrera said. "The stuff they say isn't sugarcoated."

With that in mind, when Brewer and Disch tell Cabrera they expect him to compete amid the wide receiver rotation this fall it holds a lot of weight.

"Coach Disch said they are trying to get me on the field," Cabrera said. "As long as I do what I'm supposed to do – learn the playbook and work hard – he said he didn't see any reason why I wouldn't be playing."

With the notion of suiting up for UNC becoming more real, Cabrera couldn't help but view last month's spring game from a different perspective.

"When I saw it, I just pictured myself doing what they're doing," Cabrera said. "I kept telling myself that one of these days it's going to be me."

The feeling will become even more real once Cabrera knows his jersey number, he says. That's why he's been pestering both Brewer and Disch on the topic.

"They have to see based on special teams," Cabrera said. "That's what makes it harder."

At Northside, Cabrera wore No. 11, which is occupied by two players (Kanler Coker and Malik Simmons). While at Lee County, he sported No. 2, which is a little more of a realistic option since a defensive player (Des Lawrence) bears that number.

"I liked 11," Cabrera said. "When I was younger, I always liked No. 1. And then when I moved to NC, I just doubled it."

Barring an unlikely roster shake up, No. 1 is out of the question. Sophomore running back Khris Francis sports that digit.

Cabrera, who says he's good to go as far as the NCAA Clearinghouse is concerned, will enroll in the second summer semester at UNC. He'll arrive on campus permanently on June 16. He's considering majoring in business.

The other day, Cabrera received his roommate assignments. He'll be sharing a suite with Malik Carney, Cayson Collins, and Robert Dinkins. Cabrera developed a strong relationship with Collins and Dinkins throughout the recruiting process. That relationship only strengthened when all three were selected for the Shrine Bowl. In fact, Cabrera and Dinkins went on spring break together.

Josh Cabrera Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories