The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday December 5th

Bunting Announces 1st Recruiting Class; Signs 21

Having spent five years as head coach at Division-III Glassboro State and almost the rest of his coaching career in the NFL, Bunting had little experience with recruiting.

But he learned quickly since becoming North Carolina's coach Dec. 11. He had no choice if he wanted to land players such as Jawarski Pollock, a speedy wide receiver from Bradenton, Fla.

"I couldn't find him at home, but I talked with his grandmother, so I finally got him on his cell phone at the barber shop," Bunting said. "I felt good that he was looking good, and he felt good about looking good."

Pollock was one of 21 recruits Bunting officially landed Wednesday, which was national signing day.

Bunting's class won't be ranked as highly as N.C. State coach Chuck Amato's incoming group of players, but it was a solid effort considering the amount of time he had since taking over the job.

Bunting wanted to help the Tar Heels become more athletic, and he thinks he and his staff did that.

"We feel very good about the people we've gotten," Bunting said, "and we feel very good about getting more team speed."

Bunting wasn't as successful in his pursuit of more arms. The Tar Heels were trying to sign two quarterbacks but had to settle for one.

Matt Baker, who stands 6-foot-2 1/2 and 205 pounds, ended up being that one. He was a first-team all-state selection at Brother Rice High School in Michigan and passed for more than 2,000 yards this past season.

"I love his leadership, and I loved having him in the room," Bunting said. "When he left my office last Sunday, I told him, 'I want you here at Carolina. I want you to be our quarterback.' I felt real good about that. He looked me in the eye and said, 'I want to come.'"

Joining Baker and Pollock as key signees on offense were Harry Lewis, running back Jacque Lewis (no relation) and wide receiver Danny Rumley.

Harry Lewis is listed as "athlete," and it's easy to see why. The 6-3, 210-pounder starred as a wideout his sophomore year and then played quarterback his final two seasons. He was Kentucky's 2-A player of the year as a senior.

He could play almost any position.

"We don't know," Bunting said. "The guy is just a real, real physical guy and loves to compete."

Rumley (Birmingham, Ala.) is just as athletic. At 6-4 and 215 pounds, he drew a comparison from Bunting to "the guy who plays for the Vikings," Randy Moss.

Jacque Lewis (Elizabeth City) was ranked the No. 3 prospect in the state and the No. 20 running back in the country by SuperPrep.

Defensively, UNC's biggest name was Jocques Dumas, a 6-8, 225-pound defensive end. Dumas was a first-team Parade All-American and was ranked the nation's No. 9 defensive lineman as a senior at Asheboro High School.

Dumas could play tackle or tight end on offense, but Bunting said he would prefer to keep him at defensive end.

"I think he's going to get bigger, stronger and faster," Bunting said. "I think you'll see him as a Sunday player sometime."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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