Signee Update: Erik Highsmith

When thinking about his freshman season, North Carolina signee Erik Highsmith can't help but get excited about the potential for playing time.

"[Charlie Williams] said there's a great opportunity [at wide receiver]," Highsmith said. "He said it's open for playing time for all the receivers coming in. He said we all have an equal chance of playing – it's whomever performs the best."

Highsmith, a 6-foot-2, 177-pound receiver from Vanceboro (N.C.) West Craven, says he speaks to Williams, UNC's wide receivers coach, once a week.

"[We discuss] mostly grades," Highsmith said. "He wants me to finish the semester strong.

"He actually came by my school [Thursday] and talked to my counselors. He just wants me to get in there."

If he indeed finishes the semester off strong, Highsmith will be academically qualified.

"I've got to get all Bs," Highsmith said.

Highsmith, who isn't being asked to retake the SAT or ACT, is on track to receive his required grades.

Although Williams and Highsmith haven't discussed it, Highsmith's future jersey number has also been on his mind.

"I've been looking on the roster to see what numbers are available," Highsmith said. "I want 15, really; I don't think anyone has it."

Shortly after signing with UNC, Highsmith received a workout plan from Jeff Connors, UNC's strength and conditioning coach.

"I read over [Connors'] book and most of the stuff we do in our weightlifting class," Highsmith said. "My weightlifting coach, he's good – he knows what he's doing. He gets on me real hard."

Highsmith is aiming to be over 180 pounds by the end of the summer.

Also, Highsmith has specific goals in the weight room. Before graduation, he's shooting to get his bench press max up to 275 pounds and his squat to 395 pounds. He said he's currently benching 255 pounds and squatting 380 pounds.

Highsmith was running track for West Craven, participating in the 100- and 200-meter dash and the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

"Our team kind of fell apart, so I quit running," Highsmith said. "I ran late into the season."

Highsmith's personal best times are 11.0 seconds in the 100 and 22.4 seconds in the 200.

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