Up Close: Kyle Jolly, Part II

POWHATAN, Va. – North Carolina 2005 football commitment Kyle Jolly already has his tickets for the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte. He was down for the Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech games in Chapel Hill, and he has been following the Tar Heels' season turnaround from his home near Richmond.

Click here for Part I, which ran yesterday.

"They just started playing with chemistry, and they started believing in themselves," Jolly said. "Early on, I don't think they believed in themselves. You could see it when they barely beat William & Mary and then come back and play with and beat Miami."

Jolly will play offensive tackle for the Tar Heels, after getting most of his offensive high school snaps at tight end. And he says the position change comes as no surprise. His primary recruiter André Powell has made the point evident to Jolly from the start.

"I knew it was going to come anyway," Jolly said. "I knew I wasn't running the ‘4.7's,' like I knew they were looking for in a tight end. So I had a feeling I was going to play offensive tackle in college."

Jolly's father, Eric, is perhaps Kyle's biggest fan, supporter and promoter. Eric also helps out on the Knights' coaching staff and has been instrumental in getting his son ready to move on to the next level both athletically and academically.

Jolly is a parent's dream scholastically, with a 3.7 GPA and a SAT score of over 1,200 points.

"They're really excited for me," Jolly said. "People come up to them to congratulate them and they just get a big grin on their face."

But only just now, following Blessed Sacrament's Virginia Independent class state championship, Jolly has begun to get recognition.

"‘Who is this guy? Where did he come from?' coach Mike Henderson said, referring to some of the reports he read in North Carolina papers.

Henderson said once Jolly committed to UNC, he would have likely gotten offers from other Division I schools. But, when those coaches called and learned of how firm Jolly's verbal commitment was, they didn't bother to extend their offers.

"Duke was very interested to know if he would be willing to change his mind," Henderson said. "Other ACC schools, as well as Marshall were also interested. But only Division 1-AA schools had offered him early. As the year went on, more interest had been generated because they were seeing him play. I really thought there were going to be some more offers, but Carolina got in there first. He went down and ran real well at their one-day camp. And when he came back, all he wanted to do was go there.

"There is always going to be questions about the level of our competition. Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia were through here, but they wanted to see what was going to happen. They wanted to see who was going to start recruiting him, but they were certainly aware of who he was."

Jolly said he will enroll at Carolina during the second summer session of 2005.


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