After a football season that produced a Shrine Bowl selection and All-State honors, Lipford was named Conference Player-of-the-Year and selected to the All-Region and All-Area teams for basketball. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound athlete nearly averaged a double-double (17 points and 9 rebounds per game) for Lenoir (N.C.) Hibriten.
Lipford should continue to add to his trophy case this spring. On Thursday, he'll participate in the Northwestern Conference Track and Field Meet, where he'll compete in the long jump, high jump, and possibly a relay race.
Besides the long jump and high jump, Lipford has been a part of Hibriten's 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 relay teams at times this season.
Lipford says his personal bests in the long jump is 22 feet, 3 inches and high jump is 6 feet, 7 inches.
Surprisingly, Lipford's athletic schedules haven't prevented him from following the workout regimen UNC sent him.
"My track coach lets me do the running during practice," Lipford said. "… My fourth period class is a weight training class. [In that class the teacher] let's me do my whole workout."
The workout has had a positive affect on Lipford's weight.
"Now I'm at a solid 215 [pounds]," Lipford said. "I used to be at 210 and wish-wash back and forth. But now for the past couple weeks I've been real solid. If I miss a meal or I'm overly active, I stay at 215."
Lipford has also noticed a change in his strength.
"I used to not be able to pick up 185 [pounds] without straps on power clean and hang clean," Lipford said. "Now my power clean is almost 295 [pounds] without straps now and my hang clean is 335 [pounds] with straps."
Given UNC's talent and depth at linebacker, Lipford doesn't expect to see the field on defense during his freshman season. However, Lipford expects to compete for reps on special teams.
"If they wanted me to red-shirt, I would," Lipford said. "But right now, [the UNC coaches] are saying a lot of special teams work – the same thing Quan [Sturdivant] and Bruce [Carter] did their freshman year - a lot of special teams work to get their feet wet."
Lipford will be wearing No. 23, his high school number, at UNC. His father, Darrell, wore 23 during his career at Western Carolina, where he's the school's all-time leading rusher.
Lipford, who is a full qualifier, will graduate from Hibriten on June 10 and then enroll at UNC on June 15. He's not 100-percent sure who he'll be rooming with, but he, Ethan Farmer, and Kareem Martin have discussed being roommates.