Signee Update: Joseph Townsend

When Joseph Townsend signed with North Carolina several days after National Signing Day, the 6-3, 285-pound defensive lineman had never stepped foot into the state of North Carolina.

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A couple weeks after signing, Townsend took an official visit to UNC with his father and nephew in tow.

"I had a lot of fun," Townsend said. "… I met Kentwan [Balmer]; we hung out a little bit. I hung out with all the guys. The campus looked beautiful – I loved the area. The facilities are great. Coach [Butch] Davis is very energetic, very knowledgeable coach."

Fellow defensive tackle Marvin Austin hosted Townsend during his stay.

The visit confirmed to Townsend that he made the right decision to sign with UNC.

"I'm now 120-percent sure," Townsend said. "That's probably the best decision I could make."

In February 2005, Townsend signed with Washington State out of high school, but spent the following year working to qualify. He enrolled at Foothill Community College in Los Altos Hills (Calif.) and had an impressive 2006 season.

Townsend signed with Nebraska in February 2007, after being recruited by UNC assistant John Blake, who was coaching for the Cornhuskers at the time. However, he didn't qualify in time for enrollment and didn't play during the 2007 season. He has three years of college eligibility remaining and no available red-shirt season. He turned 20 years old last December.

Since then, Townsend has placed a new emphasis on his academic situation.

"All my teachers know my situation, I talk to my counselor at least once every two weeks making sure everything is straight, I go to all my tutoring sessions, I go to all office hours, I stay afterwards to make sure I understand all information," Townsend said.

Townsend will graduate from Foothill on June 28. He is still in the paperwork stages of passing the NCAA Clearinghouse. If everything falls in place academically, he'll report to UNC on July 31.

Once on campus, Townsend expects to line up at various techniques on UNC's defensive line.

"When I was down there I talked to Coach [Everett] Withers," Townsend said. "He said they're going to move me around. He said they're going to put me at three-shade, a little bit of five-shade, put me at the seven [technique].

"He said I have the versatility and the talent to play all the areas they plan to move me to. I like that – I like playing D-end and D-tackle, and moving around."

Townsend has also discussed his UNC future with Blake, UNC's defensive line coach.

"Coach Blake said he's going to rotate everybody; everybody is going to get plenty of playing time," Townsend said. "So that's a good thing. It's not like he's only going to play three or four guys.

"And he said they're really counting on us as a unit to really bring this team back up so we can win championships."

Townsend hopes to secure jersey No. 90 in honor of his two favorite players– Julius Peppers and Mario Williams.

In preparation for his UNC career, Townsend continues to work out under the guidance of his personal trainer, Tommy Jones, while also integrating pieces of UNC's workout.

"Coach [Jeff] Connors said he's happy I'm working out with a personal trainer and to continue with that," Townsend said. "I do [UNC's] lifting, but as far as the running and agility stuff I do that with my trainer. My trainer, he knows Mike Woicik, the strength and conditioning coach of the New England Patriots. He has me do some of their routines."

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