IRVINGTON, NJ – Like most rival state universities, the hatred between the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University in athletics is fairly strong.
Sure, UNC also has a bitter rivalry with Duke. In fact, that rivalry may be more fierce.
But no matter what, the North Carolina Tar Heels and NC State Wolfpack despise each other.
Yet for Jasiah Provillon and Lancine Turay, two recent former Irvington High School football teammates, their friendship will always remain strong, even as they begin their collegiate careers for those two schools.
Provillon, a 6-3, 185-pound wide receiver, plays for N.C. State, while Turay, a 6-5, 230-pound defensive end, plays for UNC as they both get ready this fall for their freshmen seasons. Provillon and Turay were key players in helping the Blue Knights win the North Jersey Super Football Conference-Freedom White Division championship and reach the semifinals of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 state playoffs where they lost to Phillipsburg, 21-20, to finish with an 8-3 record last fall.
Turay racked up 46 tackles, including nine sacks, while Provillon had 57 receptions for 687 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.
Turay was ranked the No. 24 player in the state and No. 90 defensive end by ESPN.com. He also was ranked No. 32 in the state and the No. 58-ranked strongside defensive end by 247sports.com.
Provillon was ranked the No. 14 prospect in the state by 247sports.com.
It’s not clear whether Turay and/or Provillon will be redshirted. But if they do play as true freshmen this fall, their teams will meet in the final regular season game on Nov. 24 at UNC in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-9 season last fall.
Conversely, the N.C. State Wolfpack hope to build off a strong 9-4 campaign capped by a 52-21 win over Arizona State in the Sun Bowl.
Both teams open their season Sept. 1.
UNC opens the season at Cal, while N.C. State will host Football Championship Series runner-up James Madison.
Turay’s brother, Kemoko Turay, was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL Draft this spring in the second round, No. 52 overall. Kemoko, a defensive end, played collegiately at Rutgers University after playing at Barringer HS.