Wilkins Catching On

ROEBUCK, S.C. --- Despite starring at quarterback for Shelby (N.C.) Crest the past two seasons, Reggie Wilkins will play wide receiver in the Shrine Bowl on Saturday. What's most impressive is how natural the 5-foot-9, 165-pounder looks at his new position.

"He's just an athlete," Crest head coach Roy Kirby said at practice. "He just amazes me."

Wilkins, though, modestly admits that he's been preparing to play wide receiver the past few months.

"When I found out that I had gotten picked for the Shrine Bowl, during the season a quarterback and I would go out and I'd run some routes," Wilkins said. "And then whenever we got put out of the playoffs, the quarterback and I went out a lot more."

Wilkins is one of three players on North Carolina's roster that practices exclusively at wide receiver.

"I guess it's because of the offense we're running," Wilkins said. "They really aren't looking to pass too much."

North Carolina's offense figures to rely heavily on the run – particularly out of the wing-T. Wilkins isn't sure how much the passing game will be a part of Saturday's game plan.

"We're just trying to get things clicking right," Wilkins said. "And I guess we're going to see what works the best and then stick with it."

When North Carolina does go to the pass, Wilkins will be the go-to receiver, based off practice observations.

"[Me being targeted] depends on the coverage and if the quarterback is getting rushed," Wilkins said. "But the way passing is going right now, I'm getting [the ball] most of the time."

Wilkins will also handle punt returns with Keenan Allen and is the backup kick returner.

Wilkins verbally committed to NC State in early December. Originally, he pledged to North Carolina, but de-committed a couple of days before making his NC State commitment.

Regardless, Wilkins will officially visit both schools – the UNC trip is scheduled for Jan. 15 – as well as Louisville (Jan. 8).

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