120 Players To Know - UNC LB Quan Sturdivant
North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant
North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant
Posted Mar 23, 2009

Who are the players you need to know about? Maybe they've been under the radar, or maybe they're the future NFL stars who'll be a really big deal next April. Get to know the stars of 2009 as CFN profiles 120 Players You Need To Know over 120 days (one for each team) continuing with North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant.


120 Players You Need To Know

North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant

By Richard Cirminiello

Who is Quan Sturdivant? … There’s something special taking place with the Carolina football program. Sturdivant is a prime example of the improved talent level at a school that’s ready to explode beyond the days of second-rate bowl invitations. Butch Davis, and John Bunting before him, is committed to bringing elite athletes to Chapel Hill in an effort to make autumn more than just a preamble to the start of the basketball season. Sturdivant had all kinds of offers to continue his athletic career, but chose to stay close to home and be a Tar Heel. A quarterback and safety in high school, he’s bulked up without losing any acceleration to become one of the ACC’s premier linebackers. In his most extensive action since arriving, he erupted as a sophomore in 2008, making a team-high 122 tackles, while flashing the speed and big-play ability that are quickly becoming his trademarks. Still learning the position, Sturdivant figures to be even more stingy and disruptive in his second year as a full-timer. With Bruce Carter on the same unit, Carolina has the ingredients of the most athletic set of starting linebackers in the conference.   

Sturdivant’s best game so far was … last Oct. 11 versus Notre Dame. In an important nationally-televised win for the program, Sturdivant had a huge game for the Tar Heels. Not only did he have 10 tackles and a tackle for loss, but he also had a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown that ignited a Carolina comeback in the second half.

Why you should care about Quan Sturdivant? … In just two seasons with the Tar Heels, he has developed into one of the top young linebackers in the ACC. One of the poster boys for what’s taking place in Chapel Hill, Sturdivant is the type of athlete that often winds up playing four seasons in the SEC. After leading Carolina in tackles in his first full season as a starter, he’s on the cusp of a statement season for one of the country’s fast-rising programs.    

Positives about Sturdivant … Sturdivant’s biggest strength is his overall athletic ability. For a 6-2, 230-pounder, he exhibits outstanding quickness and sideline-to-sideline speed. He reads and reacts well, sifting through the wash and making a bee line for the man with the ball. Because of his athleticism, he’s also an asset in pass defense and a threat to emulate an offensive player when he gets his hands on the ball.  

Negatives about Sturdivant … Although Sturdivant has been heading in the right direction since arriving in Chapel Hill, he’d still like to add more muscle and bulk to a lean frame. He’s fine when allowed to roam freely in space, but when a guard or tackle gets to the second level, he has a tendency to get swallowed up by the larger players.

A cool thing about Sturdivant you probably didn’t know … A star quarterback at West Stanly (NC) High School, Sturdivant initially committed to play for Florida and Urban Meyer. However, he quickly reversed fields and decided to play for his home state Heels.

Career Statistics
2007: 47 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and one interception
2008: 122 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, and four passes defended

Statistics, information and photo provided by the North Carolina sports information department