UNC Signee Update: K.J. Sails

The Florida DB figures to compete for playing time this fall.

Shuffling within North Carolina’s secondary is expected to open up opportunities for K.J. Sails and the six other DBs who were a part of UNC’s 2016 signing class.

“They want me to see the field as soon as possible,” Sails said. “They’re lacking depth and right now they only really have two true corners, but they said M.J. [Stewart] is going to be moved to nickel. So, that spot is wide open. I’m going to be competing with a couple of other freshmen to play that spot.

“I’ll be ready for it.”

To make sure he’s ready, Sails has been following to a T the workout regimen developed by UNC’s strength and conditioning staff. If that wasn’t enough, the Gibsonton (Fla.) East Bay product has been doing extra work at a local gym.

“[UNC’s workout] is a lot different,” Sails said. “It’s a lot more structure. I’m just adapting to it.”

Sails, who played his senior season in the 163-165-pound range at 5-foot-10, has beefed up to 174 pounds. He aims to arrive in the 178-180-pound range.

“[UNC] just told me to stay in shape, stay strong, and keep studying my playbook because they’re really going to need me this year to step up,” Sails said.

“I’m blessed, because I’ve come a long way. A couple of years ago, I wasn’t in this position. So, I’m really blessed to have this opportunity to play at UNC and be a student there. But, also I feel like I’m going to strive there.”

Sails has asked Gene Chizik, who has maintained regular communication since Signing Day, if he could continue to wear No. 9 into his UNC career. Chizik obliged, according to Sails.

“I’ve just had it, really, all my life,” Sails said. “I started wearing it when I first started in pads. So, I just want to stick with it.”

Living just outside of Tampa, one would assume Sails hasn’t be able to connect with any of his future teammates. Nothing could be further from the truth – he communicates “all the time” with fellow Tar Heels. 

“Dre [ Andre Smith] and I, talk a lot,” Sails said. “Also, [William] Sweet and I talk a lot. M.J. Stewart, we talk from time to time; and Des [Lawrence].

Dominique Ross and I, we’ve known each other, because we’re both from Florida. I know people from his school. We always talk a lot.”

The connection with Ross has resulted in Sails’s roommate assignments: Rontavius Groves, Roscoe Johnson, and Ross.

“Dominique said that ‘Toe’ [Groves] and Roscoe are cool peoples,” Sails said. “So we got it set up.”

Sails, who is scheduled to report to UNC on June 15, plans to major in sports broadcasting.

“Seeing Stuart Scott on TV a lot and Stephen A. Smith made me want to follow them,” Sails said. “And really, it’s just my personality – I like to talk.”

Qualifying wise, Sails has the scores and grades, he says. It’s just a matter of finishing the paperwork.

“I’m good with admissions,” Sails said. “I just have to start filling out stuff [for the NCAA Eligibility Center].”


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