Up Close: Scott Lenahan

<I>Inside Carolina</i> recruiting writer Andy Britt is touring the countryside to visit each UNC football commitment. Look for his unique two-part profiles all season long. Today – lineman Scott Lenahan.

KENNESAW, Ga. -- Harrison High School's team nickname is the HOYAS – an acronym meaning Helping Our Youth Achieve Success. North Carolina football commitment and Harrison senior Scott Lenahan has benefited greatly from his school's philosophy, although he is the type of student-athlete that doesn't require much help.

With a 3.8 grade point average and a 1040 score on the Standard Aptitude Test (SAT), recruiters had no reservations about him from the neck up.

But at 6-foot-2 and 295 pounds, Lenahan's dimensions were hardly striking to would-be recruiters early on. It wasn't until he could provide proof that his speed in the 40-yard dash was indeed 4.91 seconds, that the phone calls started pouring in.

"Then things changed pretty rapidly," Harrison head coach Bruce Cobleigh said. "They saw that he doesn't need to be 6-5 when his speed is factored in."

Even more impressive was his time in the lateral shuttle -- 4.42 seconds. That is almost unheard of from a lineman prospect.

North Carolina coaches initially plan on using Lenahan at offensive guard or center, but that could change over the next year or so. He is considered one of the Top 35 defensive linemen in this year's class as well.

"He's explosive for that size," Cobleigh said. "That's what separates him.

"He's a pretty good defensive lineman too," he added. "We just didn't play him much there when he was a junior and weighed 300, because we thought it was pretty tough to go both ways. But he's playing both ways now.

"He's as good a defensive lineman as he is an offensive lineman."

Lenahan entertained offers from Nebraska, Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, Clemson, as well as North Carolina and many others. But he quickly made his decision following his attendance at UNC's Junior Day this past summer where John Bunting offered him a scholarship.

"It was definitely Coach Bunting and Coach [Hal] Hunter that tipped the scale," Lenahan said. "Everything was perfect with academics and football. Coach Bunting came from the NFL, and he's a winning coach. Look what he did last year -- coming in 8-5."

Bunting and his staff equally impressed Scott's dad, the 60-year old Terry Lenahan.

"You have to love [Bunting]," he said. "He is straight-forward, and I've been to more camps than half the dad's you'll ever talk to. He went up to Scottie and said, ‘Do you love football?' Scottie said, Yeah, I love football.'

"I played in college, and my coach stayed up in a tower," he said. "I never got to talk to him. Coach Bunting is on the field. He's accessible, and that's what will make Carolina a winning football team."

Lenahan's decision was made official when he announced his intentions back on July 2. With that process now over with, he is concentrating on his weekly contribution to prep football.

Harrison improved to 6-0 on Friday after shutting out non-conference foe Osborne 42-0. Thanks to early insurmountable leads, Lenahan has recently been able to sit down after a few series in order to rest an ailing ankle.

He is one of three members of head coach Bruce Cobleigh's squad already committed to Division I schools. Teammates' Paul Oliver (Georgia), Jason Evans (Penn State), Lenahan and soon-to-commit Tim Cesa (Maryland or Notre Dame) help make up the third-ranked 5-A program in the state of Georgia.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow…

(J.B. Cissell contributed to this report.)

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