Barth poised to start

It was an outstanding senior year for Connor Barth. He started things off last summer by becoming the first player (mid-June 2003) to commit to North Carolina, which he celebrated in July by being named MVP over 140 kickers and punters at the developmental camp sponsored by Fourth Down Sports and Bill Renner.

During the football season, Barth broke the state record in field goals (19). In December, he was selected as the No. 1 kicker in the country by USA Today. He has also been selected to play in the East-West North Carolina All-Star game this summer.

Barth plans on starting his college career by enrolling at UNC in June.

"I want to be there for orientation around the second week in June and work out with the team over the summer," Barth told Inside Carolina from his Wilmington home on Wednesday. "I would like to play in the East-West All-star game, but I need to check with Coach [James] Webster to see what he says."

Barth has maintained a consistent practice regiment of kicking three times per week -- a good sign considering he is expected to quickly step in as the starter following the graduation of Dan Orner, who has been invited to the Minnesota Vikings camp as a free agent. Interestingly, it was a meeting between the two at the Fourth Down Sports Camp that helped pave the way for Barth to come to Chapel Hill.

"I can't wait to get there and get started," Barth said. "I think I have a chance to come in and contribute right away."

Barth will room with Texas lineman Ben Lemming, whom he met on his official visit.

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