Townsend Set for UNC Arrival

North Carolina signee Joseph Townsend is now all set to play football for the Tar Heels this fall.

"Everything is good - finally school is over and I'm getting ready to go down there and play some football," Townsend said. "It's been awhile since I've put on some pads so I got the itch now to finally hit somebody."

Townsend graduated from Los Altos Hills (Calif.) Foothill Junior College on Friday. The 6-3, 285-pound defensive lineman was then informed Monday by a UNC official that his academics are in order for him to enroll and play for UNC this fall.

On July 30 Townsend will arrive on campus where he will join the team and eventually enroll in the fall semester and participate in preseason practice. He will have three years of eligibility to play three years of football.

Townsend says he speaks to John Blake, his primary recruiter and future position coach, "every now and then."

"He's asking how I'm doing, how working out is going, and how's my family," Townsend said.

Blake also expressed how he expects Townsend to see a lot of playing time this fall.

"He said ‘All you have to do is come in in-shape and bust your butt and I can't see why you won't [play],'" Townsend said. "As long as I just do what he says, I should be able to start. I know I'll be in the rotation, but I want to start and establish myself right away."

The true question, which won't be answered until preseason practice, is where Townsend fits along UNC's defensive line.

"They don't even know," Townsend said. "They said they're going to move me around a little bit. They said I could play the three-, the five-, the six-, or the seven-[technique] -- it's going to depend on certain packages. Pretty much, they want me to play D-end in certain packages and I could play D-tackle – it all depends on them really."

For Foothill, Townsend moved around but mostly played defensive tackle. During the 2006 season, his lone JuCo season on the gridiron, he was named first-team all-league in the Northern California Conference, recording 36 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks and 17 quarterback hurries. Foothill went 10-1 and won the Silicon Valley Bowl.

Townsend likes the idea of being utilized in multiple ways.

"I want to be moved around to show off my versatility and know that I can do more than one thing," Townsend said. "It will also help out my team more."

Furthermore, Townsend hopes to show off his new weapon – his ability to drop into coverage.

"Hopefully I'll be able to stand up in some situations," Townsend said. "I've been working on my back pedal a lot with my [workout] coach, who was a defensive back for the [Dallas] Cowboys."

Regardless, Townsend is looking to make an "immediate impact" at UNC.

"I'm not going to say how many sacks I should get, but I want to be a force to where if I'm not making the play, I'm drawing the double-team and freeing up a teammate," Townsend said.

"I just want to go out there and fortify myself as a team player, have fun with my teammates, and hopefully get us to the ACC Championship – and maybe National Championship. And then after that I'll worry about the individual, because the individual goals will come if you worry about the team first."

Townsend said he is hoping to sport the No. 90 jersey for UNC.

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