Tucker Answering the Call

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- When Carl Tucker verbally committed to North Carolina back in April, early enrollment was an idea he toyed with but wasn’t sure of.

“In my situation, I was only going to leave [high school early] if [UNC] needed me to leave,” Tucker said. “I’m in the situation where I could stay and it doesn’t matter or I could leave and it doesn’t affect me in any way.

“So [Gunter Brewer] told me that he needed me to come early and it would be better for me to go in there early. As soon as he explained that, it was clear to me that I needed to.”

Though Tucker stars at wide receiver for Cornelius (N.C.) Hough, UNC plans to groom the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder into a tight end. The Tar Heels will lose two scholarship tight ends to graduation after the 2014 season. Additionally, the status of 2014 signee Avery Edwards is uncertain. Depth is such a concern at the position that UNC moved junior Kendrick Singleton to tight end.

Now that he is aware of his path, Tucker couldn’t be more relieved to have signed with UNC.

“It feels good,” Tucker said. “I’m just glad to officially get it over with and just to have everything signed. I’m ready to get to Carolina. I can’t wait to get there. I’m excited. I love everybody there.”

Brewer recruited Tucker for UNC, but Tucker has begun to communicate more with Seth Littrell, his future position coach.

“I always like talking to Coach Brewer, because it’s always fun to talk to him since he’s a funny guy,” Tucker said.

“My relationship with Coach Littrell is getting better. I’m going to start calling him every week, so I can start to get that relationship with him. I like him already. He coached me a little bit at the camp.”

Tucker plans to be at every UNC home game this fall, plus attend away games versus Clemson and East Carolina.

“My sister went to ECU and a lot of friends went to ECU,” Tucker said. “They’ve been talking junk ‘Oh we beat you by 50 last year.’ It really ticks me off, so I want to be there to watch Carolina just rip into them.”

Tucker’s final high school season began with a victory during Thursday Kickoff Night, but cramps forced him to exit the game prematurely just after halftime.

“Usually when I have cramps, when one [cramp] goes away it moves to a different area,” Tucker said. “My trainer didn’t want to make it worse, because he thought I was going to have a full body cramp. So that’s why he took me out.”

If the game was closer, Tucker believes he would have been permitted to return. But Hough was up by two scores and appeared to have a strong grasp of the contest. It eventually defeated Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley, 34-20.

Tucker finished the game with two catches for 14 yards, plus a fumble.

“I did not play like I need to play at all,” Tucker said. “It was not a good game for me at all.”

Tucker was one of a couple players to start both ways for Hough.

“It felt weird,” Tucker said. “I haven’t played defense since sophomore year. Being on the opposite side of the ball was very, very weird. But it’s something I could get used to.”

Tucker expects to see defensive reps in every game this season.

“I just need to start running more after practice to get my endurance up,” Tucker said. “That way I can be on defense more than I was today.”

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