Yates One of Georgia's Finest

Prior to his mid-October commitment to North Carolina, T.J. Yates was an unknown to Tar Heel fans. Regardless, this past season Yates was well-known by his opposition and no stranger to Georgia's individual statistical leader boards.

"He had a great year," said Pope High School head football coach Bob Swank. "He threw for over 2,300 yards – he had to be one of the top passers in the state."

Yates, a 6-foot-5 190-pounder from Marietta (Ga.) Pope, ended his senior season by completing 160-of-289 passes (55%) for 2,305 yards, 13 interceptions, and 17 touchdowns. He also added 292 yards and seven touchdowns rushing.

Although known for his accuracy and play within the pocket, Yates is by no means a statue.

"He's a pocket passer, but he runs far better than most [pocket quarterbacks]," said Swank. "He's going to be a really good quarterback in the ACC. He's been a basketball guy all of his life, and now that he's looking at football once he gets into the weight room he's going to be a big strong athlete.

"I think he's as accurate a passer as I've ever seen, but if he's in trouble he can run. He had a couple 100-yard rushing games this season."

Apparently the UNC coaching staff feels Yates' skills are polished enough to begin competing for a quarterback spot immediately.

"I've talked to Coach [John] Bunting a few times during the process," said Swank. "I don't know how recruiting hype goes, but the coaches told me they expect for him to compete next year."

Firm in his commitment, Yates has shutdown any and all communication with other schools.

"He's not taking phone calls from anybody," said Swank. "He's going to North Carolina as long as they're taking him."

With the exception of signing his Letter of Intent, Yates is done with his recruitment. He has already taken his official visit to North Carolina – on November 5th against Boston College – and doesn't plan to visit any other schools.

Yates figures to qualify and enroll at UNC during the second summer session. He was one class short (English) of being able to consider December graduation, but most likely would have chosen to stay in high school to help his basketball team.

T.J. Yates Profile

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