Md. QB Strongly Considering Heels

After setting North Carolina's track ablaze during last year's summer camp, the Tar Heels extended Joe Haden a scholarship offer. After then-offensive coordinator Gary Tranquil fully evaluated his arm, that scholarship was designated for quarterback.

"He ran a 4.34 [40-yard dash time] at North Carolina and they offered him on the spot," said Fort Washington (Md.) Friendly head football coach Marcus Berry. "When he was down there for the camp, they offered him, but Coach [Gary] Tranquil said ‘He's such a great athlete, but I love the way he throws the ball.' They offered him as a quarterback."

Since then, Haden has added offers from Connecticut, Florida, Georgia Tech, Marshall, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, and Virginia, while schools like Ohio State figure to join the party relatively soon.

At 5-foot-11, 185 pounds and possessing amazing athletic ability, many coaching staffs will have a hard time not recruiting Haden as an athlete. However, Berry believes once on campus, Haden's arm will make it difficult not to put him under center.

"The thing about him, he is a quarterback -- that's what he is," said Berry. "If he was 6-2, 6-3, there'd be no question. The only thing is, he is 5-11 and he's a ridiculous athlete – he's a freak.

"When I say freak, I mean he'll run in the 4.3s [in the 40-yard dash], he has a 37-38-inch vertical, he'll do 30 reps of 185 [pounds], and he's only 185-190 [pounds]. He has a great arm. He not only has a strong arm, but he's very accurate."

While Haden hasn't eliminated any school from contention, he has developed a strong liking to Virginia, Florida, and Ohio State. However, the Tar Heels aren't far behind especially with the relationship Haden is developing with his recruiting coordinator, Tommy Thigpen.

"He has interest in North Carolina, because they're so interested in him," said Berry. "He's supposed to be going back down there this year [for a camp]. He really likes Coach [Tommy] Thigpen. He says Coach Thigpen texts him a lot, and he calls him back and talks to him. So he really has a good relationship with Coach Thigpen."

During the Tar Heels' camp last summer, Haden grew fond of UNC's campus.

"He loved [the campus]," said Berry. "He said it was probably the prettiest campus he's seen. He loved the facilities - the whole nine."

In addition to attending the summer camp, Haden, who is scheduled for a December graduation, figures to include North Carolina among his official visits.

"He already told me that's definitely one of the places he'll take an official," said Berry.

After passing for 2,167 yards as a sophomore, Berry's passing yards dipped to 1,959 yards, but his touchdown-to-interception ratio increased from 16-to-12 to 22-to-5. His completion percentage also improved drastically from 53% (126-of-240) to 66% (102-of-155). He also added 478 yards and six touchdowns on 52 rushes as a junior.

Joe Haden Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories