UNC awards three scholarships; lose two on defense
Posted August 5, 2011
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Interim head coach Everett Withers announced Friday he has awarded scholarships to fullback Curtis Byrd, deep snapper Mark House and holder Trase Jones.
Also announced by Withers Friday, Junior cornerback Mywan Jackson and sophomore defensive tackle Brandon Willis will each leave the University of North Carolina football program.
Willis and Jackson are both facing personal and familial issues that led to their departures.
Willis completed spring and two weeks of fall camp with UNC in 2010 before making the decision to head west in a move with his father. Family decisions also triggered a transfer back to UNC in March of this year when his grandmother was battling health problems. He sat out 2010 at UCLA due to NCAA transfer rules.
It was reported by the Orange County Register in California, which covers UCLA football, that Willis was released from his scholarship in early March to make the move. They also reported that UNC was seeking a waiver from the NCAA to gain immediate eligibility. A UNC spokesman said that the waiver was sent, but they have yet to hear back from the NCAA.
Jackson, a Florida native, played in six games in 2009 as a freshman and 12 a season ago making five starts. Withers said that it was a personal decision for Jackson to transfer and be closer to his family.
“Mywan is working through some personal issues right now with his family and he felt it was in his best interest to stay in Florida until he decides where to continue his education,” said Withers. “He indicated he would like to attend a school closer to his home and we support his decision. I wish him nothing but the best.”
Byrd, a senior who joined UNC as a walk-on in 2007, appeared in 10 games last year and started six. He had 11 receptions for 77 yards.
A senior from Wilmington, House is entering his third year as the Tar Heels' starting deep snapper.
Jones, who walked on in 2007, has served as Carolina's holder for the past two seasons and is the back-up place kicker in addition to having punt return experience.