Target 2005: Nick Starcevic

Of the 80 or so recruits at the Spring Game this past weekend in Chapel Hill, none could have left anymore impressed with UNC than Charlotte Catholic fullback Nick Starcevic and his family.

"We were blown away," Nick's father, Mike, said.

The Tar Heel coaches also told Starcevic they were considering him as a tight end prospect.

"It's a great environment – a nice campus with nice facilities, but I really like the coaching staff," Starcevic told Inside Carolina via a phone interview Monday night. "They said I need to add a couple of pounds and work on speed."

Starcevic said that adding the weight will be no problem and currently he runs the 40-yard dash in about 4.8 seconds. Three months ago he employed the services of a speed trainer that works with him on resistance and strengthening his legs through a lot of uphill running; and it is beginning to show results.

"I've noticed I've gotten faster and a lot of my coaches have said I've gotten faster," Starcevic said.

Tough as nails and equally as smart, the 6-foot-3, 218-pounder, is also receiving interest from Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia, Clemson, Navy, Air Force, Army, William and Mary and all of the Ivy League schools.

But it has always been a dream of his to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"Mostly, I'm just interested in Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Georgia Tech and N.C. State," he said.

A two-way starter as a junior, Starcevic rushed for 930 yards on 143 carries, and had 77 yards on 10 receptions. But it's his uncanny ability to pick up the tough ground in short yardage situations that makes him stand out, as is evidenced by his 18 touchdowns.

At defensive end, Starcevic registered 117 tackles, 12 sacks, and six interceptions, and he blocked three punts.

"When we need one yard, he gets us two," said Cougars coach Jim Oddo, who played center and linebacker on N.C. State's 1967 ACC championship team. "He's got a great work ethic. He plays every play on offense and defense. On hot days you'll want to get him out so he'll be 100-percent, but he doesn't want to come out."

"He doesn't ever take the easy road anywhere," his mother, Meg, added.

Next up for Starcevic, once he finishes baseball season, is a trip to the Nike camp at Georgia Tech.

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