Up Close: DaNorris Searcy

ATLANTA --- Four-star athlete DaNorris Searcy will bring blazing speed and versatility to North Carolina's 2007 recruiting class. He played running back and linebacker last season at Towers High School, but insists he'll be a safety at UNC.

"His nickname in Atlanta was ‘Baby Vick,'" said Titans coach Phil Noble.

When you ask Searcy if he will play tailback, he responds, "I think I'll be playing safety at Carolina."

Ask him about linebacker, and you get the same reply.

"I think the UNC coaches will use him at a little kick returner and defensive backfield," Noble said. "At running back, he reminds me of Adrian Peterson. "

Wherever he plays, he'll be one of the fastest – and smartest – on the field for the Tar Heels.

"North Carolina is getting a heck of athlete," said Noble, a Greensboro native. "If I'm recruiting him, he's an A-T-H – an overall athlete. What's not to like about a kid who is 195 pounds and runs a 4.41. Put him in equipment and he's 210.

"But what I like [most] about him is he coachable and will do anything for the team. He listens, follows fundamentals, and he's the smartest guy on the team. He knows his football."

In an eight-game season, shortened by a fractured fibula, Searcy rushed for 870 yards and scored eight touchdowns. It was also his first season at linebacker after two seasons at safety.

Searcy said at the high school level there's little difference between the two positions, but the impetus for that statement may be due to his superior foot speed.

"Out here there's a lot of running the football, so either way you're going to be in the box," Searcy said. "I'll bring aggressiveness [to UNC]. I'm good at finding the ball. My reaction time is quicker than most people."

The Tar Heels plucked a jewel away from grasping ACC and SEC hands. Searcy received scholarship offers from dozens of elite schools across the country. Florida, LSU, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Clemson showed the most interest.

"Virginia Tech usually doesn't even delve much into Georgia, but they wanted him," Noble said. "Frank Beamer was down here and watched some film, and they wanted him right then and there. Florida and LSU still wanted him to still take his official visits down there."

Searcy knew he didn't want to stay in Atlanta, but he did want to remain in the Southeast.

"I grew up here and I'm ready to get out," Searcy said, "I went to camp up at North Carolina and I liked that environment. I liked how the coaches got along so well together and how they worked together."

Noble added, "He didn't want to stay in Atlanta and go to Georgia Tech. And Georgia really didn't say that much about him. Clemson, Maryland were also interested. When they saw him at the Scout.com combine, Georgia started trying to make some noise."

Stay tuned for Part II coming soon…

Searcy, with Coach Noble

DaNorris Searcy Profile

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