CONCORD, N.C. ---- North Carolina could become the next school to offer Hamsah Nasirildeen. If so, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete from Concord High already has a couple connections to the Tar Heels.
“He’s an exceptional athlete,” Concord head coach Glen Padgett said. “In fact, he dunked a basketball last night and hit his head on the backboard.
“He’s an excellent tackler in space – he’s a very aggressive tackler… He had never played defense until this [past] year, but that’s where his future is.”
Since the opening game of his freshman year, Nasirildeen has started at wide receiver on varsity. Concord has at least reached the NCHSAA 3A semifinals in all three of those seasons.
This past season, Nasirildeen also started at free safety becoming only the second player to start both ways for Concord during Padgett’s seven-year tenure.
“We don’t like to have players play on both sides of the ball,” Padgett said. “In specific packages (goal line, red zone) we do. But with his talent on offense with catching the ball, making plays, and then his ability to make plays on defense we had to.”
Nasirildeen ended his junior season with 80 tackles, four interceptions, and five pass breakups. He also caught 33 passes on offense for 584 yards and four total touchdowns (two rushing and two receiving).
Based on his conversations with Chris Kapilovic, who recruits Cabarrus County, North Carolina very likely could become the next school to offer Nasirildeen.
“He told me they’re going to [offer] – it’s just a matter of time,” Nasirildeen said. “They want to get to know me. I don’t know if that means they want to see me at camp. He told me that they like my length, but this year is my first year playing defense.”
Nasirildeen has been offered by Charlotte, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, and Temple. In addition to UNC, Clemson, Florida State, South Carolina, NC State, Penn State, and Wake Forest have expressed strong interest, according to Padgett.
The "getting to know each other" process between Nasirildeen and UNC began last football season when he attended Tar Heel victories over Illinois and Wake Forest.
"They were fun games," Nasirildeen said. "I liked the atmosphere."
Nasirildeen is already quite familiar with UNC. His basketball teammate, Rechon Black, is a four-star shooting guard committed to the Tar Heels. Also, Nasirildeen’s father graduated from UNC and was a member of the football team in the 1980s.
Despite those connections, Nasirildeen says UNC doesn’t have a built in advantage. In fact, he didn't grew up a UNC fan.
Besides UNC, Nasirildeen, doesn’t claim any favorites, has only visited Charlotte. He hopes to visit every offering school at some point.
Hampton has offered Nasirildeen, who averages a double-double for Concord’s basketball team, a basketball scholarship. But, he only wants to play football in college… After the basketball season, Nasirildeen will run track to work on his speed.