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UNC linebacker transfers to NCCU

Feb. 14—CHAPEL HILL — University of North Carolina linebacker Milad Aghaiepour recently announced his decision to transfer this offseason to North Carolina Central University to play football for the Eagles.

A true freshman at Guilford for junior college, UNC was Aghaiepour's only Divison-1 opportunity.

"It was less about the hype and the media," he said. "I know I can play and beat these guys — I dedicate my life to this. I didn't want to be a small fish in a big pond."

As a walk-on at UNC in 2022, Aghaiepour never really received a chance to prove himself. Only getting linebacker reps on scout team in practice, Aghaiepour was limited to "crash dummy" roles on special teams. He was not even allowed to make tackles in practice as a scout team linebacker.

Despite the limited playing time, Aghaiepour's body of work in practice at a "prestigious" university earned him the most recruiting attention he has ever had in his career.

With no official scholarship available, Aghaiepour received a verbal offer from Central, but will at least have a chance to prove his potential. A 21-year-old junior, Aghaiepour is taking 21 credits this semester to graduate from Carolina early.

With three years of eligibility remaining, Aghaiepour will finish out his college football career at NCCU while completing his graduate degree. At 5-foot-11, 225 lbs, Aghaiepour still has dreams of playing in the NFL.

"If I didn't, I wouldn't be doing all of this nonsense," he said. "I would've stayed at Carolina."

In high school, Aghaiepour played football and lacrosse at Chapel Hill High, and was an all-conference linebacker and team captain his senior year and led his team in tackles.

The son of Iranian immigrants, Kambiz Aghaiepour and Denniz Zolnoun, Aghaiepour was always more of a football player than a lacrosse player, starting on JV when he first picked up the stick as a sophomore.

He was almost banned from high school sports in North Carolina his junior year, after cross-checking an opponent so hard that he broke his stick. The future Carolina linebacker scored 15 goals that season.

According to Aghaiepour, the best high school midfielders he remembers from his days at Chapel Hill were Michael Mclaughlin, who plays at UNC-W, and Graham Noble.

Now looking to revamp his Division-1 football career next year at NCCU, local college football fans will be tuning in to see if Aghaiepour can secure a spot in the Eagles' defensive lineup.

The Eagles will play Carolina their third game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 14.