Huge Commitment

North Carolina's first commitment for the 2010 class is a big one. Offensive tackle James Hurst is now a Tar Heel. spoke with the 6-foot-6, 284-pound five-star prospect from Plainfield (Ind.) High School about his decision ...

"I called Coach [Sam] Pittman and talked to him for a while and told him [that I was committing]," Hurst said. "He was really excited about it. I'm going to talk to Coach [Butch] Davis really soon – he was in a meeting when I talked to Coach Pittman.

"When I told him, he actually pulled his wife into the room and told me he was jumping up and down. He was excited – he was really excited."

Hurst didn't think Pittman was surprised by his commitment.

"I think he kind of felt it from me that it was the right place to be," Hurst said. "He might not have known when, but I think he knew it was coming."

Originally, Hurst had planned to narrow his list of choices to ten schools by the end of April and wait until August to make a verbal commitment.

"I went on a bunch of visits, but the big three for me were North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia," Hurst said. "I went to those three schools and we let it settle I guess for a couple weeks. It was easy for me to see where I fit in the best and where I wanted to be.

"I said I wanted to wait until August, but this was the best for me to have it out of the way and everything."

Over 20 schools have extended Hurst a scholarship offer, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State.

"[What separated UNC] was really the combination of everything," Hurst said. "For me it was perfect. And the people and the coaches on campus, they're like me; they're the type of people that I'm going to be comfortable with for four or five years."

In early March, Hurst spent a day and a half in Chapel Hill.

"It was really exciting for me – I was really surprised when I went there how great everything was," Hurst said. "I heard things about it, but I really didn't have the exact idea until that trip. I left and I was just really excited about it. I was just pumped that I got an offer from a place like that and I got a chance to play there."

In addition to Florida, Georgia and UNC, Hurst has visited Duke, Indiana, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Purdue, and Tennessee.

Hurst plans to graduate from Plainfield High School in December and enroll in UNC for the Spring 2010 semester.

"[Pittman] wants to get me rolling," Hurst said. "They lose Kyle Jolly, who I talk to every other week or so, and he's a great player. So they're going to need people to step in and play. And he and I think I can do it."

Hurst's commitment is firm as he doesn't plan to visit any other school from here on out.

"I'm done," Hurst said. "I don't want to play those games. This is it for me."

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