“He obviously wants me to play A-back, so [Brewer] would be the guy who’d be coaching me. It’s a whole lot different than [being recruited by] a different position coach because we do get to talk football – specific football, more than just about the school. He invited me up [to UNC] – he wanted me to get a look at the A-back position.”
Due to obligations related to his move from Mocksville (N.C.) Davie to Davidson (N.C.) Day School, Carney wasn’t able to visit UNC until this past Saturday for the Tar Heels’ spring scrimmage. It was his first trip to Chapel Hill in nine months.
UNC has been recruiting the 5-10, 197-pound standout since his freshman year and offered shortly after that football season ended. But, the staff recruited him ambiguously as an “athlete.”
“I think we’ve definitely narrowed [my position] down,” Carney said. “[Brewer] has told me many times that he’d love for me to play A-back. As far as I’ve heard, it’s strictly A-back at this point.”
Carney believes that A-Back is the perfect position for his skill set.
“I think if you had to create a position for me, that would be the one,” Carney said. “Obviously, I have the size to run between the tackles, but I love to catch the ball and I think I have the elusiveness to make that 80-yard play off the bubble [screen] and I can always run routes.”
While in Chapel Hill on Saturday morning, Carney got to see how UNC uses the A-back position.
“I got there after warm-ups, so it was a good time,” Carney said. “I watched [the A-back] run a ton of routes. He didn’t get much, obviously, to run out of the backfield. But to see the other side of what I’ve been doing in the past – I’ve been primarily a running back and some slot – so to see slot and some running back, it was just cool to see that combination and how it fits into that offense.”
UNC sophomore Austin Proehl started at A-back in the scrimmage. Carney’s relationship with Proehl extends beyond football. Carney’s father, Carl, built Proehlific Park, the gym owned by Ricky Proehl, Austin’s father.
“We have a relationship with the Proehls and know Ricky pretty well now,” Carney said.
Following the scrimmage, Carney and his father made their way to the Kenan Football Center. After spending time in the players’ lounge, they met with Brewer in his office.
“He really broke down the [A-back] position for us all the way to how many times it touched the ball last year,” Carney said. “We got to see some good film. We got to see what they do and what they want to do. We got to see how it fits into their offense. I just wanted to see how the [A-back] runs – there’s an opportunity to run between the tackles, if needed. Obviously, they don’t have the size to do that as much as they do now, but to see how I could possibly fit into their offense was exciting.”
Saturday’s has affected Carney’s feelings towards UNC “greatly.”
“The [A-back] position is such a turn on,” Carney said. “I didn’t even know about the position until recently talking to Coach Brewer. It has definitely taken it to another level of interest.”
With his move to Lake Norman, Saturday was Carney’s first recruiting trip since the football season. During the season, he attended a couple games at East Carolina, his father’s alma mater, and a game at both Wake Forest and NC State.
Carney figures to make additional trips prior to the summer, but doesn’t have any definite destinations in mind. During the summer, he plans to camp at East Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Wake Forest, and return to Fedora’s Freak Show. The Freak Show might not be his next UNC visit.
“I could possibly be back out [to UNC] for spring,” Carney said. “Who knows?”
Following his camp trips, Carney plans to name a list of favorite schools. He then hopes to make a verbal commitment either just before his senior football season kicks off or shortly after it begins.
“I’ll stay in the southeast probably – actually definitely,” Carney said. “I’m not looking to go play where it’s too cool. So I don’t think I’d go above Virginia Tech. I’ll probably stay within a five-hour range [of my home].”
Six schools have offered Carney – Charlotte, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, UNC, NC State, and Wake Forest.