Furr, Boyd Excited About UNC

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- Shortly after Hunter Furr and his Mount Tabor teammates ended Jheranie Boyd and visiting Gastonia Ashbrook's season, the two future Tar Heels expressed their excitement for the state of North Carolina football under coach Butch Davis.

Furr, who rushed for 205 yards on 20-plus carries and a touchdown in the Spartans' 24-6 win in the NCHSAA Class 4-A first-round playoff game Friday night, said he is excited about the buzz surrounding football in Chapel Hill. Furr also recognizes that Davis, in only his second season as head coach, is the reason for the Tar Heels' turnaround.

Furr, a 6-2, 210-pound senior running back and defensive back, added that he can't wait to watch North Carolina face Maryland Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

"I'm ready for it now," Furr said late Friday night. "It's going to be awesome. Carolina has a chance to go 12-2 this year and that's such a big turnaround. People were saying seven or eight wins this year, and they've got seven now. The program is on the upturn and they are going to get big and maybe win a national championship down there.

"I've talked to a couple of them and Coach Davis has said he's not going to Tennessee. They are committed to Carolina and they are going to build Carolina into a championship program."

Boyd, a 6-3, 190-pound senior wideout and highly coveted recruit, smiled when asked about Chapel Hill despite his team's season-ending loss Friday night.

"I'm excited; I'm ready to come in and be an impact freshman," said Boyd, who had two catches for 25 yards in his final high school game with former UNC running back Ronnie McGill in attendance watching both future Tar Heels. "Playing with Hunter will be great.

"There are some special things happening in Chapel Hill. Coach Davis assembled the best recruiting class ever that won a national title at Miami and he's doing it right now at Carolina. He had a good class last year and he's going to have a great one this year. He's getting athletes."

Boyd pointed to the success he expects the team to have while he's in Chapel Hill.

"The coaches are saying this isn't supposed to even be the year they win the ACC and all that," he said. "They are proving people wrong all ready. They are talking about how our (2009) class is the one that can take them to the top, so I can't wait until my freshman, sophomore, and junior years because we are going to be really good."

Friday night was tough for Boyd, who was double-covered for most of the game. It was also the second time he saw the Spartans and Furr end his season. A year ago, Mount Tabor beat the Green Wave in the third round of the Class 4-A playoffs.

But, Boyd said he's satisfied with the career he had at Ashbrook.

"Little mistakes killed us," Boyd said of his final high school loss. "It was neat to play against Hunter again. We lost to them last year, but he's a future teammate so I told our guys not to hurt him too bad. That's the first time I've been against two guys (up on the line) bumping me like that. It was tough."

Now, it's hoops season for Boyd.

"I'm going to enjoy the rest of this year, play a little basketball, run track and focus on my grades," Boyd said.

Before he left the field, Boyd said he hopes he can fill the potential void that could be left if UNC's record-setting receiver Hakeem Nicks departs for the NFL.

"I plan on breaking [his records] and taking his spot next year because he will probably go pro," said Boyd, who looks up to Nicks. "I'm going to follow in his footsteps and try to make them my own."

Furr said he enjoys competing against Boyd. Though, he'd like to play several more football games for Mount Tabor before thinking about being teammates in Chapel Hill.

"That was cool," Furr said. "We talk during track and at camp and stuff. We pointed at each other before the game and talked afterward. We will see each other at the Shrine Bowl, but it's exciting."

Furr aims to conclude his Mt. Tabor career in Kenan Stadium next month.

"The 4-A state championship is in Chapel Hill, so I want to play my last high school game in my college stadium," Furr said.


Hunter Furr

Furr finished with 205 yards on 21 carries, including an official long of 48 after a 69-yard TD was called back for a holding penalty. Furr's younger brother, Lawson, a sophomore, had two interceptions and a 43-yard FG for the Spartans Friday night. Hunter also scored the game's opening touchdown on his 48-yard scamper midway through the second quarter.

"That's what Hunter has been doing his entire career," coach Jaymarr Marshall said. "The line did a great job blocking for him. Unfortunately the one long run got called back, and that would have really put it away for us but we had that last long drive that ate up a bunch of the clock."

Next: Furr and Mount Tabor will host the Fayetteville 71st-Purnell Swett winner in a second-round game Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Jheranie Boyd

Boyd did manage to get open often, however he was unable to break out against a tough Mount Tabor defense, which put eight defenders on the line early and often Friday night. Still, he had receptions for 14 and 11 yards. He also had two kickoff returns, one of which looked like he had a shot at a touchdown before he was taken out of bounds near midfield.

"J is just a phenomenal athlete, but a better kid," said Ashbrook coach Mike Briggs. "Super kid, super morals, he's a leader and he's a kid that you want to be a part of your program. His athleticism is phenomenal, he's a freak. We call him a dang freak. They had to double cover him because he was open a few times where if we hit him we could have been up 14-0 there.

"He and Hunter will be teammates [at UNC] next year, and that just adds to Carolina and the strength that they have. Ronnie McGill was here tonight to watch them and it's going to be neat to watch them play for the blue."

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