Q&A with Nelson Hurst

While visiting Chapel Hill last weekend, Nelson Hurst finalized his transfer from Mississippi State to UNC. The tight end spoke to InsideCarolina.com about his decision and future as a Tar Heel upon returning home to Plainfield, Ind.

When did you realize UNC was the place you wanted to transfer to?

"Really just after meeting with Coach [Butch] Davis – finalizing [and] making sure everybody is on the same page – and then after seeing the campus, because I have never been there. Once I saw that, I felt really good about it."

What took place during your visit?

"Well, we got there on Friday. And then Saturday afternoon, Coach Davis got back and we met with him for about an hour or two. And then we went to breakfast Sunday morning."

What did you do Friday?

"Friday we just toured the campus a little bit – not a full tour, because it was raining. We saw all the facilities, the weight room, and Kenan [Stadium]. We met with the coaches some and went out to eat."

What were your impressions of the campus and the facilities?

"I loved the campus. And the facilities, a lot of it was under construction, but it's going to be awesome when it gets done. It's pretty exciting. All the stuff they're doing with the locker room and new meeting room, it sounds awesome. I love the weight room. I'm really excited about it."

During your visit, besides Coach Davis, what coaches did you spend time with?

"Coach [Sam] Pittman and Coach ‘Mo' [Allen Mogridge] were the main guys that we hung out with and spent a lot of time with – and they're awesome. But we met pretty much all the coaches. We met Coach [John] Blake and talked to him for a little while – he's a hilarious guy. I met Coach [Charlie] Williams and Coach [John] Shoop – I watched some film with him."

When you met with Coach Davis, what did he talk to you about?

"We just talked just to get to know each other – just about this and that. And then we talked about me coming in – when I was going to come in, just how it was going to work out with me transferring in, the scholarship stuff, and how I would fit in."

When did you inform Coach Davis that UNC was where you would be transferring to?

"We pretty much knew I was going there. I just wanted to meet with him and make sure we were all on the same page before I said anything publicly. After I met with him and made sure he was alright with it, I felt good about going public with it."

More or less, this visit was to iron out the formalities?

"Pretty much. I've been decided that I was going to go [to UNC]. But I felt like before I went public, I needed to see the campus just to make sure."

When will you enroll?

"I'm going to get to campus probably a week or so before camp starts [in August]. That way I can go through orientation and get familiar with campus."

What's the plan for this season?

"I'm going to go through camp. Obviously, I'll be red-shirting so I'll be learning the offense, going through practice, and getting stronger – which is going to help me out. How they want to use me in practice so I can help everyone else out is what I'm going to be doing."

What are your thoughts on going from someone who played as a true freshman at Mississippi State to being someone on the offensive scout team this fall?

"To a point it seems like you don't have an opportunity to play at all. But at the same time, I'm just so excited to go to North Carolina and have a chance to come there and be a part of the team. It really doesn't bother me.

"I know I can really benefit from it. I just turned 19 so I'm a young guy. It's really going to help me to get another year in the weight room and get stronger. I think I'll be a better player in the end."

Where do you fit into UNC's offense, which uses two tight ends – an on-the-line tight end and a hybrid back?

"I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be more of a tight end. I'm going to be the tight end – hand in the ground – more so than an H-back. I think that's the plan. I know [tight end] fits my skill set better than the H-back."

A year from now when you're allowed to play, how will you fit into the depth chart?

"I think it just depends on this year. Guys like Ed Barham and Zack [Pianalto] will be coming back as seniors, obviously. They're going to have a year to play and they could improve greatly. So they're going to be better their senior year, which wouldn't be surprising.

"Really, the best players are going to be put on the field. So when that time comes, we're really just going to have to see what happens."

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