Jolly Getting Up to Speed

North Carolina 2006 signee Tavorris Jolly is up to 188 pounds these days, and that's big enough for the Tar Heels coaching staff, which Jolly says plans to position him at cornerback. But of course, a member of the secondary can never be too fast.

"The coaches just told me to mostly try and work on my speed, that's the main thing," said Jolly, a four-year starter at tailback and strong safety for state 2-AA champ Shelby (N.C.).

"They told me my size is good enough right now. I've been running and lifting weights, trying to keep my body in shape so I can keep my speed and be in the best shape I can be when I come in."

Jolly, who graduated on Friday, said he is all set academically and will arrive at UNC with most of the incoming freshman on June 19.

A Shrine Bowl member and elected all-state by the Associated Press as a senior, Jolly was a four-year starter at running back and defensive back.

Last season he rushed for 1,331 yards on 182 carries and scored 16 touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 52 tackles, five interceptions – one he returned for a touchdown. He also returned seven kickoffs for 252 yards and a score.

In addition, Jolly was named MVP in Sheby's 26-18 victory over Reidsville in the 2-AA state title game, after gaining 87 rushing yards and scoring a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, he intercepted the second Reidsville play of the game, made nine tackles and broke up three passes to help Shelby avenge a championship game loss the year before.

"We left Durham with a bad taste in our mouths [last year]," Jolly said following the game. "I kept telling the guys all season, 'Play hard. If we keep playing we'll get back to where we were last year.'"

As a junior, Jolly rushed for 981 yards and 10 touchdowns, and caught 13 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown.

Jolly was one of the Tar Heels' earliest commitments among the '06 class, and never wavered in his decision.

"I have wanted to go to North Carolina since the ninth grade," said Jolly. "Once I got the chance…I was ready."

Tavorris Jolly profile

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