JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Northside-Jacksonville senior football standout and UNC commit Ja'Qurious Conley is our newest WITN Pepsi Player of the Week!
After opening postseason play with a 50-6 win over C.B. Aycock last Thursday night, the Northside-Jacksonville football team is now looking ahead to the second round of the 3A state playoffs this upcoming Friday night.
The Monarchs best player is Ja'Qurious Conley. The senior is a four-star running back and defensive back.
Back in August, Conley committed to the UNC Tar Heels football program over the likes of South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Duke.
"He's just a great guy on and off the field," said Northside-Jacksonville head football coach Kendrick Pollock. "Very humble. Total teammate."
Conley totaled a school-record 364 rushing yards and six touchdowns two weeks ago in a big win against White Oak.
"Anywhere you put me, I'm going to ball out," said Conley. "I'll make sure I do my thing."
Conley then rushed for 109 more yards and three more scores in the Monarchs' first round win over the Falcons.
"In my 19 years of doing it, I've never had a guy that worked as hard as he does in practice," added Pollock. "I think some of the college coaches that came in and watched practice saw that and they loved that."
One of those colleges was UNC. In fact, Conley committed to Carolina before the season even started.
"I feel like [UNC] was the best place for me educationally and football wise," said Conley. "So I'll go there, and they have my major. Then go there for football and play for Mack Brown. That's going to be a great opportunity."
Conley says he plans on studying physical therapy in Chapel Hill, while playing safety for the Tar Heels.
"I just bring a little bit more energy than most players, but also I can't do it without my teammates," Conley added.
And without his high school head coach -- Kendrick Pollock -- Conley says he wouldn't be where he is today.
"Since the first day I've been here, [Pollock] just gave me that energy and motivation to keep going, and over time he just showed me that I could be that D-I player," Conley said.
"He's just a total teammate type of guy, and he's more happy for his team's accolades than his own," Pollock said.
Conley and the No. 6 Monarchs (7-5) will face No. 3 Eastern Alamance (12-0) in the second round of the 3A state playoffs Friday at 7:30 p.m.
For more on Conley, check out the video above! (Feature airs Tuesday during WITN Sports at 6:20 p.m.)
NOTE: If you have a student-athlete or athlete that you would like to nominate as a WITN Pepsi Player of the Week, please email a bio to Tyler Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org.