Mullins: 'I'm Qualified'

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- With the beginning of football practice only a few weeks away, there was some uncertainty as to whether one of UNC's top incoming freshmen would be able to take the field. That uncertainty came to an end this weekend as Aleric Mullins received word that he had indeed qualified.

"Yeah, I'm qualified," Mullins said Monday evening at the Greensboro Coliseum, where he was watching the East-West All-Star basketball game. "I just found out yesterday –- my coach called me last night and told me."

Mullins, a 6-2, 285-pound defensive tackle from Wendell (N.C.) East Wake, needed the summer to finish qualifying because moving back and forth from Missouri during high school left him several courses behind on the East Wake curriculum.

"I had to make up some classes that I had to take here before I could graduate," Mullins explained.

"I'm glad that's over – I'm so glad," he added. "Like a monkey is off my back."

Last season, Mullins compiled impressive stats from his position on the line, while also earning plenty of local and national honors. He was named to the all-state team and played in the N.C. Shrine Bowl, and was ranked the No. 4 prospect in the state by On the national level, he was named a SuperPrep All-America, and was ranked the No. 14 DL in the nation by SuperPrep and the No. 3 DT in the nation by

As such a heralded prospect, there's a possibility he'll see playing time as a freshman.

"I'm looking to go in - I've been working towards going in and getting playing time my freshman year," he said.

"Hopefully we can go in there and turn it around [at Carolina]. That's what we all talk about all the time. We're looking to go in and turn the whole program around."

Mullins will suit up for the East squad in Wednesday evening's East-West football game at Jamieson Stadium on the campus of Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley High School.

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