May 3, 2013

Incoming Freshman Report: Mikey Bart

Buford (Ga)'s Mikey Bart will soon be flying around the practice fields as a full-fledged member of the North Carolina Tar Heel football team but for a while it was up in the air as to whether the defensive end would make it to Chapel Hill.

Things fell into place after fellow defensive lineman Monte Taylor decided to go the JUCO route instead of coming to UNC, opening the door for Bart to slide into the
Tar Heels program.

It wasn't that UNC wasn't high on Bart initially, it's just that there weren't enough available spots after Taylor, Nazair Jones and a few others had beaten Bart to the commitment stage of their recruitment.

Now Bart is ready to roll and looks forward to stepping foot on the Chapel Hill campus.

"Probably a nine. I'm enjoying myself right now but I'm ready for something new," said Bart when asked on a scale of one to 10 how excited he was to get his college career rolling.

"I've been trying to savor these last few days. Just having fun, working out, and trying to get ready for Carolina but still having time to do stuff with my friends. I've got graduation coming up and then it's the summer and getting ready for college football," added Bart.

Physically and mentally, Bart is gearing himself up to make a big impact for the Tar Heels once his high school days are over.

That includes getting himself into the best possible shape he can while also staying focused on the task at hand and making good decisions during the last remaining days before heading north to UNC.

"Physically, I've just been running and lifting. We run three times a week, the football team does so I run with them at Buford. I just broke the all-time power clean record at Buford so I've been getting stronger. I'm still working hard," said Bart. "Mentally, I'm trying to enjoy it and get ready for North Carolina. I'm just having fun at home while making sure I don't do anything stupid."

One of Bart's primary focuses while working out on his own is maintaining a good weight. He knows that keeping his body in prime form will be a big deal as he makes the transition from high school to college.

"Just getting in shape. Mainly, getting up to around 250 pounds or so. I'm at 252 right now so I'm at a pretty good weight. But once I get there we're going to go pretty hard and I might lose ten pounds," said Bart.

Bart had an offer roll in from Georgia Tech during the same time frame UNC offered him.

Ultimately it was the comfort level with UNC that led him to be a Tar Heel.

"I just really like UNC. I love their campus. I love their coaches," said Bart. "I picked up the offer from them the same time I picked up an offer from Georgia Tech and I decided that UNC was the better fit for me. I think I fit in really well up there."

Bart's setting the bar for himself as a player that's willing to do whatever the team needs him to do.

He envisions himself as an effort guy that can give the team some physicality in the trenches.

"(I'm) a physical player that gives it all he's got. I just want to help the team however that happens my first year there, if I redshirt that's fine," said Bart. "I'm going to do whatever I can and hope they need me on the field and I'm going to contribute."

For those trying to identify Bart once he hits the field, he has a preference for the number he'd like to wear once he gets a hand on his Carolina Blue jersey.

"I talked to Coach Vic Koenning about that and he told me not to worry about that so I haven't really brought it back up," said Bart. "But something in the forties would be fine. That's what I wore in high school, 44, so that would be alright."

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