Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Short of Expectations UNC QB Curry Has Yet to Fulfill Promise

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Short of Expectations UNC QB Curry Has Yet to Fulfill Promise

Article excerpt

HOT SPRINGS, Va. -- As a senior at Hampton (Va.) High, Ronald Curry's talents on the football field and basketball court prompted some of the nation's top coaches in both sports to gush in awe.

Curry, who suffered just two losses on the football field in four years, was the national player of the year in both sports.

"He's the best high school quarterback I've ever seen," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said.

Bowden lost one of his few recruiting battles when Curry opted to sign with North Carolina, after reneging on an oral commitment to Virginia, to play both sports for the Tar Heels.

Three years later, Tar Heels fans are hopeful that Curry has fully recovered from a ruptured Achilles that ended his sophomore season in Week 5 of a dismal 3-8 campaign.

No other player in Carolina history has carried the burden thrust upon Curry. On the football field he's expected to help return the Tar Heels to the 10-win season ways of the 1998 and '99 campaigns. On the basketball court he could be the heir-apparent to point guard Ed Cota for first-year coach Matt Doherty.

Not only did Curry have to endure the physical pain of rehabilitation throughout the winter, he undoubtedly suffered from mental anquish as well. In the winter he watched his former high school rival, Michael Vick, lead Virginia Tech to the national championship game against FSU. In March, he sat on the bench as the basketball Tar Heels made an improbable march to the Final Four.

"When I first got here, I thought college was just a stopping place for me," Curry said, acknowledging that he entertained thoughts of a quick departure to the NBA or NFL.

The injury forced Curry to reconsider his place in life. Now he's eager to get back on the field, where he will be working with former N.C. State coach Mike O'Cain in an offense retooled to take advantage of his vast physical skills.

"I'm looking forward to practice, and I've never looked forward to practice," Curry said. …

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