UNC Lands Preferred Walk-On

North Carolina received a verbal commitment from a preferred walk-on long snapper over the weekend – Tommy Bancroft.

“When I stepped on campus, I just felt so comfortable,” Bancroft said. “I wanted to get away from California, and I’ve always liked the forest and Carolina has so many trees surrounding the whole school. So I like the foresty vibe. Of course it’s a really good football team that offers a great education.”

Hours after helping San Diego (Calif.) Parker eke out a 22-20 victory over Honolulu (Hawaii) Radford on Friday night, Bancroft and his parents boarded a plane. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder eventually arrived in Chapel Hill at 4 p.m. on Saturday – two hours before the kickoff of UNC’s opener.

After taking in the pregame festivities, Bancroft watched UNC defeat Liberty, 56-29.

“It was amazing,” Bancroft said. “It was probably one of the coolest experiences I ever had.”

The next day, Bancroft met up with Rich Superfine, a Science professor, who provided an academic tour. Bancroft plans to major in something in the science and/or mathematics fields.

Bancroft’s stay, which extended to Monday morning, included several opportunities to spend time with Jonathan Rutledge, UNC’s special teams graduate assistant, and Rory Pommerening, Director of Player Personnel.

“He just talked to me and my parents about the special teams unit and how they played Saturday,” Bancroft said.

Bancroft also spoke briefly with Larry Fedora.

“I met with him before when I was at the camp and what I thought was really cool was that he remembered my name,” Bancroft said. “He pretty much just talked about how the game was and how he was excited for me to be there all the way from California.”

Sunday afternoon, UNC extended Bancroft a preferred walk-on opportunity.

“I think their senior snapper [Alex Marrs] this year is on scholarship,” Bancroft said. “They said that I can compete for a scholarship.

“It’s good for me, because it gets me to work harder and harder to earn a scholarship.”

Immediately, Bancroft accepted the offer.

“I was just really excited with it being my No. 1 school,” Bancroft said. “It feels really nice to know where I’ll be going to college now.”

Bancroft received an offer from Brown, an Ivy League school. He also fielded interest from Boston College, California, Colorado, and Syracuse.

Bancroft made his initial visit to UNC last year.

“Chapel Hill had been my top school for a while,” Bancroft said. “My mom went to St. Mary’s, which is pretty close to Chapel Hill, and she would always go to Chapel Hill games. So she wanted me to check out the school…

“The first time I saw it, I just fell in love with it. So I wanted to come back to see a game.”

Between last year’s visit and this past weekend’s trip, Bancroft attended UNC’s specialists camp in June.

Rubio Long Snapping rated Bancroft a four-star prospect. At the 12th Annual National Kicking & Snapping Spring Event in Las Vegas, Bancroft finished sixth for accuracy and speed.

In addition to snapping, Bancroft also starts on Parker's offensive and defensive lines.

David Binn, who long snapped for 18 years in the NFL (17 full seasons with the Chargers), is Bancroft's snapping coach.

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