UNC Football Class of 2016 Signee: LB Tyrone Hopper

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

BIO: Helped lead Roswell to at 14-1 record and the Georgia High School Athletic Association 6A state championship game • All Metro North Fulton County and named to Region 5-6A First Team • PrepStar All-Southeast Region • As a junior, he accumulated 113 tackles, four sacks, and 24 pass breakups • Played in the Georgia Junior-Sophomore Elite Classic


RECRUITMENT: Hopper returned to his birth state last March for the UNC-Duke basketball game. During his stay, the Tar Heels’ staff offered him a scholarship. When he began working on his finalists list a couple of months later, UNC – as well as Virginia Tech – had already been granted a spot while other schools had to earn a berth through a summer visit. Five trips into his summer tour, he scrapped that plan and committed to UNC shortly after camping at the school.

WHY CAROLINA: “North Carolina, they really just showed me that they really wanted me. Coach Fedora communicated with me, Coach Papuchis [and] Coach Chizik, they talked to me all the time. I just built a great relationship with them and that’s how it all started. To me, it just felt like home – it’s just a great place. And it was a family decision – they really liked it and I really liked it. I liked the coaches, the atmosphere there, the people – that all played a big role. It feels great just knowing I’ll be able to play for my home state. Just being able to represent North Carolina feels great.”

EVALUATION: At 6-foot-3 and 201 pounds, Hopper is a rangy outside linebacker with tremendous length. That length allows him to take up a good chunk of grass on the field. He also uses that length to press, tug, and rip free of blockers. He flows fast to the ball and is a strong wrap tackler. When called on to blitz, he bursts into the backfield and chases hard.

HS COACH QUOTES: “The first thing UNC is getting is an outstanding person from an outstanding family. Tyrone is an incredibly hard worker who understands the value of hard work from his parents. As a player, he has incredible explosiveness, instincts and football smarts. He has a lot of length, but moves very efficiently and quickly, he can sink his hips, change direction and has a knack for finding the ball. As good as he was for Roswell, I think his best football is in front of him, and in 2-3 years, Tyrone will be considered one of the best players to come out of Georgia in the 2016 class.” — John Ford, Roswell HS

INSIDE THE COMMITMENT: When Tyrone Hopper and his family left Chapel Hill on June 15, the UNC staff felt confident about its position with the outside linebacker. But the staff was surprised by what transpired shortly thereafter. … Read the full subscriber-only report

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