Prior to the injury, red-shirting wasn't something Felder, a 5-foot-10, 169-pound athlete from Monroe (Pa.) Gateway, was thinking about.
"I definitely wanted to come right in and play," Felder said. "But after thinking about it, it gives me an extra year to get stronger, to be ready, learn the playbook, [and] get my grades in order. I could be ahead of the game with academics and knowing the plays."
Although he's capable of playing cornerback, Felder is coming into UNC as a wide receiver and will also compete for return duties.
"They haven't talked to me about cornerback in a long time," Felder said.
Days after signing a National Letter-of-Intent with North Carolina, Felder tore his ACL playing basketball for Gateway.
"I was going for a loose ball," Felder explained. "I got bumped from the side and it hyper extended into the ground."
Felder had surgery on March 17. It will take between six months to a year from that surgery date for his knee to fully recover.
Felder is no longer getting around on crutches, but is still sporting a knee brace. He expects to start walking without the brace next week.
"They said my recovery is going fast," Felder said. "I'm almost at full extension with my knee, so it's coming along well."
Felder keeps in regular contact with John Shoop, UNC's offensive coordinator, and Charlie Williams, UNC's wide receivers coach. Felder said both have been very supportive since the injury.
"They were talking to me like it was a normal injury, like it could just be fixed in two seconds," Felder said. "They said they couldn't wait to see me come back strong. They weren't mad about it like I thought they'd be. They said it's an injury that happens, that they've seen before, [and] it can be overcome."
In addition to ending his basketball season prematurely and likely forcing him to red-shirt, the knee injury has contributed to a 12-pound weight loss. The injury will keep Felder from running track this spring. He was planning to run the 100-meter dash and 4x100 relay. He said he expects to put those lost pounds back on very soon as he expands on what he's doing in the weight room next week.
What the injury shouldn't affect, according to Felder, is his speed. He ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at the Scout.com Combine a year ago.
"I talked to a lot of people who had the injury and a lot of coaches, and they said it really won't affect it as long as I work hard," Felder said.
Felder, who is a full qualifier, will arrive at UNC on June 14. He plans to room with fellow incoming freshmen Reggie Wilkins and Tre Boston.
"Since Reggie de-committed and went to NC State, I've been talking to him," Felder said. "I was trying to get him to come back to UNC. Since then, we've been talking.
"I just started talking to Tre a little bit before the spring game. I met him at a couple of camps, so we remembered each other."
Felder says that he's been communicating with most of his fellow UNC signees, including Sean Fitzpatrick, who enrolled in January and participated in spring practice.
"He said it's definitely fun, but it's a change," Felder said.
A couple of weekends back, Felder got a sneak preview of what to expect at UNC when he attended the Spring Game.
"It gave me a chance to look at the team a little bit," Felder said. "It just made me more anxious to get on the football field. I feel like I would fit in their style of play."
Felder hasn't had a chance to discuss jersey numbers with Butch Davis, but he hopes to sport a single digit number – perhaps No. 5 or No. 4.
"I just like single digit numbers," Felder said.