E.J. Abrams-Ward from Thomasville, says he’d like to be callin’ North Carolina home

from Bill Cole at www.journalnow.com:

E.J. Abrams-Ward would like the chance to continue his football career at North Carolina after he leaves Tennessee in the spring, assistant coach Sam Captain of Thomasville High School said yesterday.

Captain has spoken to defensive coordinator Everett Withers of UNC about Abrams-Ward but no decision will be made immediately. UNC is finishing its recruiting for national signing day Feb. 4, and it won’t know until after that if Abrams-Ward can be added to the class or if Coach Butch Davis wants him.

Abrams-Ward, who starred at Thomasville, was dismissed from Tennessee’s program last week after he redshirted as a freshman in 2008. Tennessee did not give a reason for the dismissal.

“We won’t know the answer for a couple of weeks,” said Captain, Thomasville’s assistant head coach and linebackers coach. “We inquired at Carolina. and they said they’d get back to us.”

UNC already has 28 commitments, three over the NCAA maximum of 25 players in a recruiting class. Two players, receiver Josh Adams and linebacker Kevin Reddick, have already signed binding letters-of-intent and are enrolled at UNC for the second semester. Adams graduated from high school early, and Reddick qualified academically after attending prep school. UNC officials said yesterday that Adams and Reddick will count against this year’s total.

Spots in the UNC class could open up if some recruits do not qualify academically or if some choose to attend prep school for a year.

Abrams-Ward was ranked as the No. 1 senior in North Carolina after the 2007 high-school season by SuperPrep magazine and was No. 4 in the nation in its “athletes” category. He picked Tennessee over UNC. Abrams-Ward (6-4, 210) played quarterback as a senior at Thomasville and produced 3,306 total yards and 33 touchdowns, but he most likely would play receiver in college.

Captain said that no Football Bowl Subdivision schools have called Thomasville yet to ask about Abrams-Ward. If Abrams-Ward transfers to a major-college, he will have to sit out the 2009 season under NCAA rules and would have three seasons of eligibility left starting in 2010.

Captain said he told Abrams-Ward that transferring to a major college is one of three possible moves for him. He said he also told Abrams-Ward that he could attend a junior college and be recruited again or that he could transfer to a Football Championship Subdivision school and be eligible immediately.

Captain said that Abrams-Ward would like to play major-college football. Abrams-Ward is still attending classes at Tennessee but has moved out of the football dormitory. He will finish the second semester at the school.

“He’s a really good kid; he’s made some bad choices,” Captain said. “I’ve told him that he has to get his academic work in order first off. He needs to pull himself up by his bootstraps and get it going. He can do it. I don’t have any doubt about that.”

â–  Bill Cole can be reached at bcole@wsjournal.com.