Practice Tour: Hunter Furr

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- While Hunter Furr will play under a new head coach this fall, the North Carolina pledge doesn't expect his responsibilities to change much.

"Laymarr Marshall is our new head coach," Furr said. "He was my offensive coordinator last year."

Marshall, who replaces Barry Stewart, has been the offensive coordinator at Mount Tabor the past two seasons. He is also a Mount Tabor alumnus and has coached at the school in some capacity since 2000.

Unsurprisingly, Marshall won't alter the offense, which he classifies as a "completely unconventional" scheme. It implements zone blocking, includes some spread principals, and relies heavily on isolation runs and play-action fakes.

"We're running our same offense," Marshall said. "Every year you tweak it and tailor it to meet that particular personnel group that year.

"We might be a bit more of power team this year. We have several people returning on the offensive line."

Furr, a 6-foot-1, 201-pound tailback, is the centerpiece of Mount Tabor's offensive attack.

"Pretty much, I'm the go-to guy," Furr said. "When it's third-and-one or fourth-and-two and we need those tough yards, I'm the go-to guy. Also when we're driving, they're going to count on me to break the long run or get the tough yards inside."

Last season – his first on the team after transferring from Forsyth Country Day School – Furr rushed for 1,680 yards and 24 touchdowns on 233 carries. For his senior campaign, Furr aims to drastically improve on those numbers. His personal goals this fall: 2,500 yards and 40 touchdowns.

"That's a lot of yards," Furr said. "But I missed four games last year and then I had the torn shoulder. I feel like I played at 80-percent last year. So I think you're going to see a big jump from last year to this year."

Helping Furr's cause is the 30-40 times he expects to touch the ball during the course of a game.

"I definitely want to carry the ball as much as I can," Furr said. "I like to be a workhorse."

Furr saw a handful of reps in the defensive secondary in long-yardage situations last fall. His defensive role could greatly expand this season. Since the start of preseason practice, Marshall and his staff have been experimenting with Furr at both free safety and outside linebacker.

"We're going to give him a look and he could end up playing on both sides of the ball," Marshall said. "I'm not sure [how many snaps he'll see] – as needed. It will depend on the opponent and rhythm of the game. He'll be more of a spot player on defense and a full time offensive player.

"We think he'll be real big against the run. He's got a lot of range in the passing game, as well."

Furr will also continue to return kickoffs. In 2007, he returned five kickoffs for 101 yards as most schools intentionally kicked away from him.

Last season, Mount Tabor improved as the season progressed and rode an eight-game unbeaten streak into the NCHSAA 4A State Championship Game, before losing to Wilmington (N.C.) Hoggard.

"There definitely is [a lot of pressure to return to the state championship]. Actually if we won [the state championship], I think there would be a lot more," Furr said. "We went there and got it handed to us a little bit. But I think we're way better this year – offensive line and defensive line are just unreal this year. I think we're definitely going to make it back."


Being verbally committed to UNC hasn't stopped other schools from recruiting Furr. Most recently, after the Nike Outdoor Nationals, South Carolina extended Furr a scholarship offer, while West Virginia invited him on an official visit.

"I told them all ‘No, I'm strictly committed to North Carolina,'" Furr said.

Furr will arrive at UNC as a tailback. However, he acknowledges that the possibility exists for a position move – such as to safety.

"That's cool – I actually like playing safety," Furr said. "I think my natural position is running back, but I definitely could learn safety and end up being a pretty good safety."

As a follower of college football recruiting, Furr is well aware that UNC is heavily pursuing other tailbacks, especially Jerrell Rhodes.

"I've watched his film on [the internet]," Furr said. "He's a good player. He runs the ball really hard…

"It doesn't matter who is there, I'm going to compete with them."

In addition to keeping in regular contact with UNC assistant coaches Kenny Browning and Steve Hagen, Furr said he has befriended fellow verbal commit David Collins, and also communicates with Bryn Renner, Justin Dixon, and Donte Moss.

Hunter Furr Profile

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