Clyburn Knows the Deal

P.J. Clyburn attended a part of North Carolina's three-day camp to receive an update on a possible UNC scholarship offer.

"I have a few standards that I have to hit before they offer me," Clyburn said. "They said they want me, I just have to get my grades up a little bit more and do well on the ACT. I just took [the ACT] and I felt I did pretty well."

Clyburn, a 6-foot-1, 202-pound athlete from Statesville (N.C.) West Iredell, has already received five Division I-A scholarship offers – Arkansas, East Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, and NC State.

There's little doubt that Clyburn's on-field ability is worthy of a UNC scholarship. Throughout his recent time on campus, he received constant attention from UNC's coaching staff and drew plenty of high praise.

"[Everett Withers] was like ‘We would take you right now. We would take you right now and put you on special teams this fall,'" Clyburn said. "Saying that meant a lot to me."

The strong positive feelings are mutual. Clyburn now lists Illinois and UNC as his co-leaders, with East Carolina and NC State rounding out the remainder of his top four schools list.

"If you graduate from Carolina, that would be a great degree from there," Clyburn said. "Illinois has great academics, too. I know I can play football, but I just want to go somewhere where I can get a good degree. For what I want to major in, [business], they are ranked high.

"And I've always been brought up as a Tar Heel fan. My step-dad, [Ken Dary], he's like the biggest Tar Heel fan in the world and I've been with him my whole life."

Accompanied by close friend and fellow recruit Jordan Darty and stepfather Ken Darty, Clyburn arrived in Chapel Hill on Tuesday morning and went on to participate in the afternoon camp session.

"I had a lot of fun, especially talking to Coach ‘Mo' [Allen Mogridge] – he's a real down-to-earth dude [and] I like him a lot," Clyburn said. "… All the coaches were cool that we talked to. All of [the coaches] have their different kind of way of how they are towards their players and I liked all of them."

Clyburn started the camp working out at safety, his defensive position at West Iredell. However, he was eventually moved to the linebacker group.

"There's really not much adjustment to it, because I'm an athlete," Clyburn said. "It was tough at first, but as workouts went on it got real easy."

Clyburn is almost exclusively being recruited to play safety.

"I would play linebacker if I had to," Clyburn said. "My only worry is I know they're going to put a lot of weight on me, and I'm afraid I'll lose all my speed."

After the camp session concluded, Clyburn and his stepfather had a long conversation with Mogridge, Clyburn's primary recruiter.

"He basically just talked to me about grades really – stay on top of my grades," Clyburn said. "Every time he writes me he says ‘Stay on those grades, stay on those grades. You're there, [just] stay on those grades.' He told me ‘Man, don't even worry about the football part – I've seen the highlight tape I know what you can do.' He just wants me to stay on my grades, which I am.

"I like Coach ‘Mo.' We've built a real close relationship already."

After a quick campus tour, Clyburn concluded his UNC stay with a long conversation with Butch Davis.

"He was just telling me how much of a great football player I am and how wonderful Carolina is," Clyburn said. "He was just asking how life was going and how my grades are doing."

After leaving Chapel Hill, Clyburn and company boarded a plane for Illinois, where he attended Illinois' camp the following day.

"I worked out pretty well, but I ran a slow [40-yard dash] time," Clyburn said.

Clyburn's only other camp planned for this summer is East Carolina's on July 25.

P.J. Clyburn Profile


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