'Dream Come True' For Arnold

For James "Cooter" Arnold of Mocksville (N.C.) Davie County, the faxing of his Letter of Intent not only officially cemented the Scout.com three-star athlete in North Carolina's class of 2005, but it also signified the end of a long recruitment ride.

"It's just a dream come true for him," remarked Arnold's head coach Doug Illing. "Finally, to get to that point of putting it on paper and locking it in just really brought tremendous excitement and pleasure to him, because it's a dream come true to have the opportunity to play in the ACC and at a great university like Chapel Hill."

North Carolina wasn't always Arnold's number one. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder had somewhat of a rollercoaster recruitment that start with Auburn and then ended with a battle between ACC rivals Wake Forest and UNC.

"I think that he was able to develop a great relationship with their coaches," explained Illing. "He got very comfortable with the coaching staff there. I think the atmosphere and excitement that Kenan Stadium had the times he was up there really pulled him in. It was a really hard decision between them and Wake Forest, but the overall atmosphere and Coach [John] Bunting and his staff really gave him a great opportunity that he really just couldn't turn down."

Arnold's versatility will allow the Tar Heels' coaching staff to use the speedy athlete at multiple positions including punt/kick returner, in the slot, and possibly in the secondary. However, according to Illing, UNC hopes to beef him up and use him as an every down tailback.

"They are really going to like him at the tailback," stated Illing. "They are really going to try to add 20 pounds to him, and get him on the training table to bulk him up to take the pounding week in and week out. The versatility of a tailback being able to get out in the flats and run some pass routes, line him up in slot, will put some pressure on linebackers."

According to Illing, Arnold will qualify and hopes to enroll in one of the summer sessions.

James Arnold Profile

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