football Edit

Downs Surprised, Excited By Offer From Tar Heels

UNC's staff has told Joshua Downs he could fit into the offense similarly to a recent Heel now in the NFL.
UNC's staff has told Joshua Downs he could fit into the offense similarly to a recent Heel now in the NFL. (Rivals.com)

Suwanee, GA, class of 2021 wide receiver Joshua Downs was a bit surprised last week when he picked up an offer from North Carolina running backs coach Robert Gillespie.

Downs was pleased, nonetheless.

"Coach Robert Gillespie, the running backs coach was the coach who offered, I was very excited at the time and was grateful for the opportunity," the 5-9, 150 pounder told THI. "But it was somewhat of a surprise, but I did talk to Coach Tommy Thigpen on the phone a few weeks before about coming to visit."

Things are building between the receiver and the coaching staff.

"I didn't know the coaches previously, but in the early stages they seem like great coaches that are successful, "Downs said.

As the bond with the Tar Heels grows stronger, Downs will get to see how he could potentially fit in the Carolina offense. He can see himself in a role once handled by a former Tar Heel who now plays for the Oakland Raiders.

"Coach Gillespie was talking to me about Ryan Switzer," he said. "I like how they use guys like me everywhere and Coach Thigpen was saying I was special and a great player. I feel, I always got something to prove regardless of my size."

So far, Downs has offers from West Virginia, Michigan, N.C. State, Kansas State, Rutgers and Boston College with interest coming from plenty others.

The North Gwinnett standout hasn't been to UNC, but he's hoping that will happen soon.

"I want to visit, and want to get to meet the whole staff, look at the campus and all the facilities, "he said. "I also want to see what the atmosphere feels like in Chapel Hill."

Aside from making the trip to see the Heels, Downs is hoping to experience Oregon, Michigan, N.C. State, Iowa State, West Virginia and maybe a few more programs this summer.