UNC Adds Walk-On LB

NEW BERN, N.C. --- Mike Hughes wasn’t the only New Bern product who committed to North Carolina over NC State on Monday. Hughes’s classmate, teammate, and close friend Sha’mond Squires accepted a preferred walk-on offer from UNC over a similar opportunity from the Wolfpack.

While Hughes took home the NCHSAA 4A Championship MVP, Squires, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound linebacker, was awarded the east team defensive MVP. Also, when the Eastern Carolina Conference season awards were handed out, Hughes was presented the offensive MVP and Squires earned the defensive MVP.

Squires led New Bern with 111 solo tackles – 36 more than the next player – and averaged 13.5 total tackles (solo and assisted) a game. He also recorded 6.0 sacks, five QB hurries, an interception, five pass breakups, five forced fumbles, and blocked two punts.

Bobby Curlings, New Bern’s head coach, says Squires compares favorably to former Tar Heel and current Carolina Panther Kevin Reddick.

“[Squires] is not 6-2/6-3 like Kevin,” Curlings said. “[Squires] has great instincts. He’s one of the strongest guys in the weight room, runs well, and is just a great person. Those two are pretty easy to compare, because they’re both very physical, intelligent players that will give you everything that they’ve got.”

In addition to the prefer walk-on offers from UNC and NC State, Squires was also offered scholarships by Division II schools Catawba, Fayetteville State, and UNC Pembroke.

Regardless of UNC’s defensive scheme, Squires projects as a middle linebacker.

“Even in the 4-2-5 that they were playing in before, I could play middle ‘backer,” Squires said. “But I can also play weak-side linebacker, because I can play the flats. I can come up and stuff the run. So it makes me a little versatile.”

Like Hughes, Dan Disch, who recruits Craven County for UNC, had a major impact on Squires’s decision.

“It played a big role, because Coach Disch is an honest guy and a straight forward guy,” Squires said. “He told me I was going to come in as a walk on and just show the coaches that I’m willing to work and I can play on the next level. And I think I can play on the next level.”

In the days leading up to his decision, Squires and Hughes leaned on each other heavily.

“It was difficult, but we talked through it and got through all the details and made sure this was the right fit for the both of us,” Squires said. “But not only for me and him, we made the decision on our own. It just worked out that we fit in really well.”

Squires says that he and Hughes began discussing the logistics of holding a joint announcement on Friday.

“But we weren’t for sure on the schools or what not,” Squires said. “After the Shrine Bowl, we talked and figured it out.”

Squires said he began leaning towards UNC last Wednesday, but didn’t actually decide until Saturday. He made that decision separate from Hughes. However, when the two shared their choices, it made Squires feel much more comfortable with his decision.

“It made me feel even better knowing I can go to Chapel Hill with somebody I know,” Squires said. “We both have good communication, so playing on the same field together will be great.”

Sha'mond Squires Profile

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