CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — UNC head football coach Mack Brown just keeps bringing in the talent. On Thursday he landed four-star running back George Pettaway who committed to North Carolina choosing the Tar Heels over Penn State, Florida and Oregon.
“UNC, it was checking all the boxes from relationships to the offense, the facilities, the education side of it, the after-football aspect,” Pettaway said. “But really, it was the relationship I built with the coaches, and everything they had to offer made my decision the way it is.”
The 5-foot-11 200-plus pound RB from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, Virginia, ran for 14 touchdowns averaging just under 14 yards per carry in 2020 during a four-game season. This year he’s off to an even better start with 17.4 yards per carry, 750 total yards with 11 rushing touchdowns and counting.
“I know that from the get-go, the front runners were Florida and Penn State,” Pettaway said. “As I went to UNC more and was able to be around the people, you build that bond and understand what people are like, and why five-stars are committing there.”
Pettaway said a big part of his decision to come to Chapel Hill had to do with the way UNC head coach Mack Brown handled his players both on and off the field.
“Coach Mack Brown is going to get the playmakers the ball,” Pettaway said. “He is going to scheme them well. It definitely sparks my eyes. He is a guy who is going to push you, but he is also like a security blanket. He is going to make sure you are good regardless off the field. He really cares about you as a person, and not just a player.”
The guy that sealed the deal was UNC running backs coach Larry Porter. Originally, Pettaway was being looked at by former Tar Heel running backs coach Robert Gillespie. When Gillespie took a job with Alabama this past January many thought the chances of landing Pettaway left with the outgoing tide. Not so, Porter stepped in and stepped up his recruitment of the four-star back.
“I was vibing with coach Robert Gillespie real hard, but when coach Porter got there, he made me a priority,” Pettaway said. “Coach Robert Gillespie already made me one, but Coach Porter, every day, made it a real deal that we could do something special — he is kind of like me in a way. He has the serious vibe to him. He is hardworking.”
This is the 14th commitment from the class of 2022 for the UNC staff.