North Carolina's football program has received a surprising commitment to kick off the New Year, as former Texas pledge Zack Pianalto of Springdale (Ark.) has decided to play his college football at North Carolina.
"I'm so excited," Pianalto said Monday night to the Northwest Arkansas Morning News.
"I loved (Carolina), and I got this feeling when I was there that I knew it was the place for me. It's really nice, it blew me away."
Pianalto, who originally committed to Texas back in March, began receiving interest from North Carolina shortly after Butch Davis was hired as UNC head coach.
Davis is also a native of Springdale, Ark.
The 6-4, 215-pound tight end, who is ranked the No. 7 overall player in Arkansas and the No. 29 player at his position in the Rivals Class of 2007 rankings, was impressed with Davis's track record for developing NFL-caliber tight ends during his tenure at Miami.
Pianalto struggled through an injury-plagued senior season, playing in just two games in 2006, but as a junior, he had over 300 receiving yards in helping lead Springdale to a perfect 14-0 record and the Arkansas AAAAA state championship.
He is expected to enroll at UNC in time for the upcoming spring semester, and arrive in Chapel Hill officially on January 14th.
Stay tuned to TarHeelIllustrated.com later in the day for more on this breaking story.