UNC Football Class of 2016 Signee: TE Garrett Walston

Inside Carolina takes a closer look at the Tar Heel signee.

BIO: Enrolled at UNC in January • Senior captain who helped lead New Hanover to an 12-3 mark as a senior and a deep run in the state playoffs • New Hanover advanced to the semifinals of the 4A playoffs before falling to Greenville Rose • Recorded 61 receptions for 933 yards and nine touchdowns • Also had two rushing touchdowns and threw one • Member of North Carolina’s Shrine Bowl team • Named the Wilmington Star-News All-Area offensive player of the year


RECRUITMENT: A typical UNC-NC State recruiting battle became a three-way race in April when Georgia offered. After backing off of a May announcement, Walston made overnight visits to all three aforementioned schools in June. At the end of that month, he committed to Georgia. During the subsequent football season, he began to contemplate switching his pledge to UNC. He completed that switch in early October.

WHY CAROLINA: “For a while me and my family had just been discussing staying close to home. [That way] they could attend most of my home games, which would be two hours down the road at UNC and they wanted to be able to watch all my brother’s games on Friday nights. That was the biggest thing – they’ve always been very supportive of me with what I’ve done, so I kind of want to be close to them.”

EVALUATION: Walston is a detached tight end (i.e. oversized receiver) who will create matchup problems in the passing game. He has enough speed to stretch the seam and uses fakes to create separation. He pairs strong, reliable hands with body control to regularly make spectacular catches. In spite of his contributions as a receiver, he’s a willing blocker who squares up his target and drives them out of the play.

HS COACH QUOTES: “He’s probably the most versatile player I’ve ever coached. We play him in about four or five different positions… He’s a really good blocker for us. He’s a strong kid [and] very quick, so we just try to move him around. He has great hands. He’s mainly a tight end but we flex him out as a wide receiver. He’ll play the backside wide receiver, he plays H-back for us, and he’ll play fullback for us as well. We just put him in a bunch of different positions that way people can’t double-cover him.” — Darryl Raynor, New Hanover HS

INSIDE THE COMMITMENT: North Carolina struck an effective balance of persistence and patience in flipping Garrett Watson from Georgia… Read the full subscriber-only report

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