Crooks Learns About UNC

During his North Carolina official visit over the weekend, Delando Crooks received a detailed look at the school.

"His visit to North Carolina went well," said Crooks's uncle Troy Vaccina. "Delando got a better understanding of North Carolina - the system that they run and the school and the community."

Crooks, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive lineman from Atlanta (Ga.) Carver, headed into the visit wide open. Despite making a positive impression on him, the visit hasn't changed Crooks's position.

"It was a great experience," Vaccina said. "They made us feel at home.

"But still, he still has some other options and he wants to look at those options before he makes a decision."

Vaccina says that Crooks will make a decision when he's ready. That could be Signing Day or beyond, but the hope is to make a decision sometime in January.

For the time being, Crooks will continue to take his official visits with stops at Stanford and Vanderbilt in January. Besides UNC, he has officially visited Purdue.

"There are [other] folks that contact us, but those are the only ones we've set up official visits with," Vaccina said.

Vaccina, who accompanied Crooks on the UNC official visit, said their stay included a campus tour, meetings with the academic support staff, spending time with the coaches and UNC players, and the UNC basketball game on Saturday evening.

"We enjoyed [the basketball game] for the most part," Vaccina said. "But it was a blow out at halftime – they were up by 30 – so we eased out of there with the other players."

Crooks had two player hosts during the visit – red-shirt freshmen offensive linemen Jarrod James and Landon Turner. However, the player that made the biggest impact on Crooks, according to Vaccina, was Jonathan Cooper, who recently returned to Chapel Hill from the College Football Awards where he was an Outland Trophy finalist.

"Jonathan spent some time with Delando and took some pictures with him," Vaccina said. "Jonathan seemed to be a down-to-earth, real cool person. He always had a great big smile on his face and he just seemed like a warm, welcoming person."

Deke Adams, who is recruiting Crooks for UNC, was with Crooks throughout the weekend.

"He talked about the tradition of North Carolina and the vision of North Carolina," Vaccina said. "He tried to impress that he thinks [UNC] would be a great fit. He spoke highly of the coaching staff."

Adams made sure Crooks spent a lot of time with Chris Kapilovic, UNC's offensive line coach.

"We did some research on Coach Kap' and found out that he is one of the best offensive line coaches in the country," Vaccina said. "Conversation-wise, he asked us about our interests and told us he is very interested in Delando and expressed to us that Delando is the kind of student-athlete that North Carolina is looking for."

Before leaving campus on Sunday, Vaccina and Crooks sat down with Larry Fedora.

"He told us about the program," Vaccina said. "He told us about how he focuses on character and he's interested in developing young men spiritually, physically, and mentally. He also talked about North Carolina as a whole. And he told us he'd like to have us a part of the program."

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