Womble Making Adjustments

Jamal Womble is still adjusting to his new surroundings at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.

"It's completely different," Womble said. "There isn't anything that's the same. The weather out here is crazy – it snows one day, rains the next, and then it's hot again. I have on a coat and some flip-flops, because I never know what's going on."

The only place Womble, a North Carolina transfer, has found any normalcy is on the football field. But even there the 5-foot-10, 230-pound tailback from Sierra Vista (Ariz.) has had to adapt.

"I'm just going out there and working hard – the same thing I've always done," Womble said. "The biggest difference is I went from the little brother, the young guy, to one of the older guys. Also, we're only practicing with like 50 guys and we had like 100 at Carolina."

Womble's new teammates have helped ease him into the transition. Many of them are from the Tar Heel State including his roommate, who is a Wilmington native, and his teammate, former UNC signee Ray Ray Davis.

After spending two years at UNC, Womble, who will be a red-shirt sophomore this coming season, transferred to Hutchinson this past semester.

"The fall semester last year I was immature with not going to class," Womble explained. "When it came down to it, I had to get approved for probation. I was on the borderline and had to write a letter."

Womble was denied probation. He was thus faced with a decision: stay at UNC and be ineligible for next season or attend a junior college which would allow him to play the 2010 season there.

"Coach [Butch] Davis and the staff, and my family and I, decided it was best to go to junior college and come back to UNC," Womble said.

In order to return to UNC, Womble must graduate from Hutchinson with an associate's degree. He's on track to do so this December, which would allow him to re-enroll in January.

"Since I only had one bad semester, there's not going to be any problems with [graduating] at all," Womble said.

The entire situation has served as a major learning experience for Womble.

"The maturity factor is crazy," Womble said. "It's just crazy how much I've learned before I even got to Hutchinson.

"At Carolina, I made some of the closest relationships, friend-wise, I've ever made. To leave that all behind wasn't easy. And I know they're on a brink of a great season this year coming up; to not be a part of that is crazy."

UNC assistant coaches Ken Browning and Charlie Williams speak to Womble weekly over the phone. Also, nearly the entire staff writes him regularly.

"They're making sure I plan on coming back to UNC, that I'm doing well, that I'm staying focused on school, [and] letting me know that they want me back," Womble said.

After graduating from Hutchinson in December, Womble is free to enroll at any school and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Other schools have attempted to recruit him, but Womble's sights are 100-percent set on UNC.

"There's no question that that's where I want to be and will be," Womble said.

Before returning to UNC, Womble has a season at Hutchinson ahead of him.

Hutchinson, which is in the middle of spring practice, changed offensive coordinators this off-season and will move from a run-heavy offense to a more balanced attack that will include pro and spread characteristics. Hutchinson plans to regularly rotate its running backs, but Womble will be the featured guy.

Womble has plenty of goals for this coming season – be named a Junior College All-American, break the single season rushing record at Hutchinson, and win a National Title.

"I don't really know how to gauge a junior college team, but my coaches tell me we have a good chance to win a national championship," Womble said. "We have some real talented guys here."

In less than a semester, Womble has already broken one record – Hutchinson's squat record. He maxed out at 650 pounds.

After red-shirting his freshman year at UNC, Womble rushed for 41 yards on six attempts last season -- all in the opener against The Citadel. After appearing in only three games, his season ended when he fractured his right wrist on the opening kickoff against Georgia Southern.


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