Cruz commits to Carolina

North Carolina commitment No. 8 for 2005 arrived Thursday in the form of Jose Cruz, when the tight end prospect from Johnstown (Pa.) Bishop McCort verballed to the Tar Heels.

"Yes, I committed to North Carolina today," Cruz told Inside Carolina from his home on Thursday. "It feels good, I'm real excited about it. I just love everything about North Carolina."

Cruz was also considering Pittsburgh, Boston College (offer), West Virginia, Indiana (offer) and Akron (offer).

Standing 6-5 and 231 pounds, Cruz's Crimson Crushers employed a run-oriented offense (of which Cruz has been an impressive blocker) and rarely throw. Therefore, he totaled only two catches for 20 yards last season. However, the North Carolina coaches were thoroughly impressed two weeks ago at camp and extended an offer.

"Lanky, athletic, and very sure handed," evaluated TheInsiders regional expert Bob Lichtenfels. "Needs to develop better upper body strength and speed. He has touble seperating from press coverage. Once Jose gets in a solid weight training program with his ability he will be fine. Has hands comparable to most wide receivers. Very high ceiling."

Cruz is also the starting power forward on the basketball team, where he averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds.

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