Signee Update: Nick Polino

Nick Polino's UNC enrollment is now just three weeks away.

In the months since Signing Day, North Carolina signee Nick Polino has juggled preparing for his collegiate career and spending time with his friends. He’ll continue this act until his mid-June enrollment.

“I’ve just been training and hanging out with my friends before we all go our separate ways,” Polino said. “I’ve been doing the lifts that North Carolina gave me on my own. And then my strength coach has been incorporating some of [UNC’s] lifts with our lifts at school.”

Polino is now sporting 280 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame. That’s a 20-pound increase from mid-December when Polino was playing left tackle for Buford (Ga.) High as it won the GHSA AAAA Championship.

“I feel great – same as I’ve always have,” Polino said.

Among others, Polino continues to communicate regularly with UNC offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic. Their relationship is in somewhat of a transition period converting from a recruit-recruiter to player-coach

“He’s just wondering how I’m doing, how the family is doing,” Polino said. “He’s just telling me if I come in and it looks like I’m in shape to play, I could be looking at early playing time, possibly. He just told me to come in as strong and as fast as I can and they’ll take care of the rest.”

According to Polino, Kapilovic expects Polino to provide depth at guard for UNC.

UNC has yet to inform Polino of his actual jersey number. But Polino did put down 58 and 74 as preferred digits on his player packet. The No. 74 jersey is currently worn by UNC senior lineman Will Dancy.

“[No.] 74 was what my cousin wore when he played and what I wore before Buford retired the number,” Polino said. “And [No.] 58 was the number that was passed down to me by one of the seniors when I was a freshman [at Buford].”

When he moves onto campus permanently on June 16, Polino will be a part of one of the most diverse suites on campus. He and suitemates Jake Bargas, Aaron Crawford, and Nathan Elliott will represent four different states (Georgia, Florida, Virginia, and Texas) and four different position groups (O-line, tight end, D-line, and quarterback).

“We know each other through visits,” Polino said. “Bargas and I are the tightest with each other just because we hung out with each other on the official [visit] and we were always in contact with each other before we knew who our roommates were going to be.”

Buford will always have prospects coveted by UNC and other programs. In the last four classes, the Tar Heels have signed three Buford players – Nathan Staub (2012), Mikey Bart (2013), and Polino.

Polino plans to help keep that pipeline flowing starting with Brett Shephard, a 2016 linebacker.

“He seems pretty high on us,” Polino said. “When he comes to take a visit, I’ll try to sell it to him the best that I can.”

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