"Because I was taking the online class and had my regular classes, my stuff got through the Clearinghouse late," Clyburn said. "I qualified at the last minute."
The news was delivered to Clyburn, a 6-foot-1, 202-pound linebacker from Statesville (N.C.) West Iredell, a couple of days before he was expected to arrive on campus for the second summer semester.
"I was on my way back from the beach and Coach ‘Mo' [Allen Mogridge] called me," Clyburn said. "He was like ‘Everything didn't go according to plan.' He was like, I'm still coming to school, but just not when I wanted to. But he said everything is fine – I qualified."
On Monday, Clyburn visited UNC and spent time with Art Kaufman, UNC's linebackers coach.
"We just basically went over what he's looking for out of me and what he wanted me to come up there and do," Clyburn said. "We watched a little bit of film – he was just trying to show me a little on what we're going to be doing."
Kaufman has never uttered the words "red shirt" to Clyburn. Instead, he told Clyburn that he plans to use a six-man rotation at linebacker this season and has two vacancies in that rotation.
"I'm going to do what I need to do to get in [the rotation]," Clyburn said.
Working against Clyburn is he the fact that has no experience playing linebacker. Defensively, he has exclusively played safety during his high school career.
"I'm an athlete, so I can adapt to anything," Clyburn said. "All you have to do is teach me and I'll learn it."
Additionally, Clyburn isn't worried about the head start his fellow incoming freshmen are receiving by enrolling a semester sooner.
"I know that they are going to be ahead of me school-wise and football-wise, but when I get up there, the way I take it all in and get myself ready and concentrate and stay focused, I should be fine," Clyburn said.
Until he enrolls, Clyburn's focus will be to stay in shape.
"I've been running a lot – running sprints," Clyburn said. "I've been trying to run 16 110-meter [dashes] a day and jogging two miles a day."
While that's impressive in itself, it's even more impressive when you consider Clyburn is six months removed from knee surgery. In November, he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
"I consider [my knee to be] 95 to 100-percent," Clyburn said. "It probably has some more strength to get to it. But it feels good."