Heels get late addition to 2004 class

This morning the Tar Heels surprisingly added a new name to their 2004 recruiting class – that's right class of 2004, not 2005. After some issues with eligibility and scholarship offers, Union (S.C.) Comprehensive High School lineman Bryon Bishop faxed his letter of intent to the North Carolina coaching staff.

"This morning Bryon signed with North Carolina," stated Union assistant coach Mike Hawkins. "Bryon had been offered a scholarship from South Carolina, I believe, in the spring of this past year. He was hesitant about taking it up that early and just waited it out. He then got an offer from Clemson towards the end (of his recruiting season). He had not qualified and didn't make a commitment and let it string out.

"Finally they pulled back their offers and signed with a junior college [Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College] because he had not qualified. Wednesday he got his SAT back and he passed his SAT and as soon as that happened North Carolina offered him a scholarship. So he signed with (North) Carolina."

The Heels had a bit of an inside track on the situation with current assistant coach Andre Powell being a Union native as well as the areas recruiting coach. Additionally, current Tar Heels offensive guard Mickey Rice is a Union Comprehensive alum.

The Tar Heels' coaching staff have not informed Bishop or his coaches on what position or even what side of the ball they will use the versatile lineman. However, Bishop's track record proves he could excel anywhere head coach John Bunting and company decide to place him.

"I think they are going to look at him on both sides of the ball," remarked Hawkins. "His junior year he played on the defensive line for us and actually didn't start until the playoffs. I don't believe he played his ninth or tenth grade years. His senior year things didn't start off in a good matter, but we moved him to the offensive side of the ball. We were really weak on the offensive line all year long.

"We should have made the transition earlier and give him more time, but we moved him over their mid to late season. He ended up started the entire run of the playoffs and probably two or three games prior to. He really improved each week at tackle."

Bishop, who has a 6-foot-3, 285-pound frame, had 60 tackles and 6 sacks as a junior. He also has a bench of 300 pounds and squats 375 pounds.

For more on Bishop, check out IC's Bryon Bishop profile.

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