Rozier chooses UNC over pro baseball

North Carolina 2004 football commitment and potential two-sport athlete Michael Rozier has made his decision and will attend UNC instead of playing professional baseball, he told <I>Inside Carolina</I> via a telephone interview from his home Wednesday night.

Rozier, a highly touted left-handed pitcher from Henry County High School in Stockbridge, Ga., was taken in the 12th round by Boston in last week's Major League Baseball draft.

"I would have played professional baseball only if the money that was offered to me was life changing," Rozier said. "What I mean by life changing is if it were enough to make me financially independent for the rest of my life. That didn't happen so I will be in Chapel Hill on June 20th to start conditioning."

Enrolling in college will mean that Rozier will not be eligible again for the draft until after his third year in school.

Rozier said he is ready to get started preparing himself as a two-sport star at Carolina.

"In high school, I played three sports (football, baseball, and basketball), so I never really got a break," he said. "I am pretty much used to the routine. At Carolina, I will start out working in football over the summer and fall. I will transition over to baseball after football season. Once football spring practice starts, I will pitch on my days that I am assigned to pitch and practice with the football team on the days that I am not pitching."

With the upcoming graduation of Darian Durant after the 2004 season, junior Matt Baker's the following year, and the abrupt departure of freshman Nick Cangelosi, Rozier could vie with Roger Heinz for the starting quarterback position in 2006, although it is almost certain the Tar Heels will bring more scholarship players over the next few years to challenge at the position.

So which sport does Rozier prefer? His cannon arm will give him the chance to star both on the gridiron as well as the diamond (where he sports a 90+ mph fastball).

"I like both," he said. "Right now I think I am better at baseball, so I guess I would say that I like it a little better now. But, if I am successful at football, that might become my favorite. I have a couple of years to decide. I am pretty sure that I will redshirt my freshmen year at football. We'll see how things go after that."

Rozier had the opportunity to check out the Tar Heels this spring.

"I went to Chapel Hill for a couple of days and caught some practice and watched the spring game. I was really impressed by how much the defense has improved. That Larry Edwards at linebacker is a stud and that new defensive end (Khalif Mitchell) is really good. He is big and quick."

Rozier said he is also pleased with the direction the Carolina baseball team is headed, despite coming off its third consecutive exit in the NCAA Tournament at the hands of interstate rival South Carolina.

"This incoming class is absolutely stacked. I played with a couple of North Carolina recruits at an all-star game recently. I know that the number one high school pitcher is also coming to Carolina."

At this point, Rozier said he is still undecided on a major.

"I am going to give myself a couple of years to decide."


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