Up Close: Kory Gedin

<I>Inside Carolina</i> recruiting writer Andy Britt is touring the countryside to visit each UNC football commitment. Look for his unique two-part profiles all year long. Today, he reports from D.C. on linebacker Kory Gedin.

WASHINGTON – North Carolina football commitment Kory Gedin has seen more concrete than green grass during his lifetime, but that will surely change when he moves to Chapel Hill this fall.

Had it not been for the actions of caring relatives, he may have never become the quality student-athlete he is today.

As Gedin was nearing his 11th birthday, he was still living in Brooklyn, N.Y. with his mother who struggled with drug addiction. But family members intervened, bringing Gedin to Washington for a fresh start in a new neighborhood.

Gedin doesn't like to talk much about his childhood, and admits moving away was a major turning point in his life. He grew up quick and focused his life on school in an effort to ease the pain from the past.

But to meet him, gentle and soft-spoken, one can only imagine the troubles he faced as a child.

"Kory, first and foremost, is just very conscientious and academically inclined," Gonzaga head coach Kenny Lucas said. "He is very serious about his future as a person.

"I know, off the field, I've grown in awe of him," he said. "He's a pleasant young man, who has a lot of friends in the school. The kids here respect him as a person. They also see his progress on the field, but they know he's a good person. I'll take and enjoy coaching that kind of kid any day."

On the field, Gedin recorded 80 tackles this year, collected six sacks, two interceptions, and forced three fumbles. As a fullback he scored four touchdowns. Gedin was an all-MCAC conference selection and a first-team all-metro pick by The Washington Post.

Gedin helped Lucas win his first conference title in just his second season as head coach. The Eagles finished 10-0 in 2002.

As a junior, Gedin made 140 tackles, including 27 stops for loss.

Lucas, who once played backup quarterback behind Rich Gannon while at the University of Delaware, first met Gedin when interviewing for Gonzaga's head coaching position two years ago. Gedin, a sophomore at the time, just happened to be in the office and the two started talking.

After Lucas was subsequently hired, he started looking at tape of some of the players. He noticed that Gedin was starting at nose guard.

"That is a feat, in and of itself," Lucas said. "That's a tough position as a sophomore to go in and undertake. I thought he had some greater potential. I just didn't see trying to limit a kid of that caliber by leaving him down at nose guard. Not that he wouldn't help you there, but I thought it would somewhat neutralize his ability to be able to make a larger impact."

Gedin welcomed the challenge of moving up to linebacker, joining the host of defensive stars scheduled sign with Carolina on Feb. 5; thus adding future depth in an area where the Tar Heels desperately need it.

"[The coaches] told me to be ready," Gedin said. "They don't have that many linebackers. They said I would get a chance to play right away."

However, the UNC coaching staff is probably not yet aware of just how much potential Gedin possesses.

"Kory is probably at the very beginning of his learning curve, and I mean that in a positive light," Lucas said. "He is only beginning to learn what he can learn about that position."

That's OK. Learning under John Bunting, a former NFL linebacker, should provide him with the proper tutelage.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow…

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