Heels gain ground in race for Moss

North Carolina pulled out all the stops last weekend for a quartet of recruits from Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely. The four traveled to Chapel Hill aboard a private jet and also had dinner at a coach's house. <I>IC</I>'s Mac Heffner delivers the first profile of one of the four – highly-touted running back Tyrone Moss.

While Broward County in Southern Florida is notorious for its involvement with hanging chads during the 2000 election blunder, the North Carolina football staff knows the county for a different reason.

His name is Tyrone Moss and he is the best running back in Florida – possibly the best in the nation.

North Carolina wants him in a Carolina Blue uniform and now he knows it.

The talented running back and three of his teammates took official visits to North Carolina to see the Tar Heels play Maryland last weekend.

Moss is steadily rewriting just about every possible rushing record in the county and has the attention of every major football program in America.

Moss said he is in no rush to choose a school, but the Tar Heels made up significant ground on Miami and Virginia Tech.

"It's looking like those three at this point," Moss told IC. "We are thinking about coming there (UNC)."

The "we" Moss refers to includes teammates Clint Session, James Martin and Cyrim Wimbs. All four are seriously considering North Carolina at this point.

Moss said he and his Tiger teammates got to go out with some of the players and saw what Chapel Hill had to offer.

"We had fun -- we had a good time."

While the score in Kenan Stadium on Saturday probably didn't make the Tar Heels look like a program that could land one of the best running backs in the nation – Moss says that is not the case.

"It was bad, but we think we can make a difference there," Moss said of the prospects of him being in a Carolina blue jersey next season.

Moss (5-10, 210) is considered to be one of the top five running backs in the nation and has 941 yards on 125 carries this season.

He is averaging 7.5 yards per carry and has 17 rushing touchdowns through nine games. He also has one receiving touchdown and 150 yards (19.0 avg.) on eight catches.

He rushed for more than 2,100 yards and 34 touchdowns as a junior.

After transferring from Coconut Creek to Ely after his freshman year, he had a breakout sophomore season, rushing for a county record 2,011 yards in 10 games. Moss was named the South Florida Sun-Sentinel 4A-5A-6A Offensive Player of the Year the past two seasons.

Ely coach Steve Davis said all four recruits enjoyed their trip to Chapel Hill.

"He said he is definitely going to consider them," Davis said of the Tar Heels shot at landing Moss. "As far as I can see they are in the hunt with Miami and Virginia Tech."

Davis added that all four are considering their own situations and rumors that the four are going to the same school was just that.

"They are all looking at their own situations. I don't think that it is going to have too much of a factor in it. North Carolina might get four of them or they might just get one.

"They had a good time and I think the visit was positive."

Moss said his game is not just about power running.

"I compare myself to [Miami Dolphins running back] Ricky Williams because I am big and fast," Moss said. "I can run over you or I can go around you."

Davis said Moss is quiet off of the gridiron.

"His strength on the field is his ability to break tackles and his vision. Those are the main assets he has. He is really low-key (off the field)."

Moss said he and his family have discussed his future and a time frame has not been set in stone.

"It could come down to deciding late," Moss said. "My family is still with me as far as me going where I feel comfortable."

Moss Stats:
210 pounds
4.45 40 time

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