Charlotte, N.C. --- North Carolina legacy Jayden Borders is on the verge of following his father’s footsteps.
“[The UNC staff] were leaning towards the offer [after camping in June],” the 5-foot-10, 166-pound wide receiver from Shelby (N.C.) said. “But they just told me to come back to the Freak Show.
“I went to [Gunter Brewer] after the Freak Show and he said he was going to stay in touch with my daddy. He’s going to talk about where they’re at with the offer and stuff.”
Border’s father, Chesley, was a UNC wide receiver from 1999-02. What would a Tar Heel scholarship mean to the younger Borders?
“That would be big for me,” Borders said. “It’s a family thing.”
With a slight hesitation, Borders admits that if/when an offer is extended he likely would commit on the spot.
Borders initially attended UNC’s June 12 one-day camp. He couldn’t have begun that event any better – he clocked a 4.44-second 40-yard dash on a surface where times in the 4.5-second range are considered fast.
“They said it was a good start for me being only a junior,” Borders said. “They said I’m only going to get faster and faster. They told me to just keep working.”
Additionally, Border’s 9-foot-8 broad jump was tops within a wide receiver group that also included Notre Dame pledge K.J. Stepherson.
As requested, Borders returned to Chapel Hill a week later for Fedora’s Freak Show. He quickly realized it would be a different experience.
“At the Freak Show, everybody is good,” Borders said. “There’s so much talent that you have to work hard to set yourself apart and be seen.
“They had music playing – they had music playing at the [one-day] camp, too, but it just sounds different in the stadium. We also lifted weights [at the Freak Show]. It was big for me to see the NFL players that came from Carolina. They were just telling us what we should do to get to where they’re at right now because that’s where we want to be.”
The Freak Show ended in the most unique fashion with a four-team dodge ball tournament. The victors then played one last dodge ball game against a team made up of UNC’s coaches and former players.
“My team actually won,” Borders said with a laugh. “And we beat the coaches. That was the first time for me – I’ve played before but never on the field in a football stadium.”
Both camps provided Borders with a rare opportunity: to be coached by the same man that coached his father – Gunter Brewer.
“He actually coached my daddy in college, so I have a real close bond with Coach Brewer,” Borders said. “It’s a little strange, but it makes me want to work harder just to show him that I can be better than [my father].”
Borders also camped at NC State and Wake Forest this summer. The remainder of the summer months is reserved for his Shelby football as it attempts to claim its third consecutive NCHSAA 2A Championship.
A Family Thing for Borders
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