N.J. Back Sets UNC Visit

While attending the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 4 Championship game for Tanner McEvoy, North Carolina assistant coaches Allen Mogridge and John Shoop discovered Paul Canevari, a 6-foot, 220-pound running back from Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep.

"They said they watched me run and they were interested," Canevari said. "Before that, they didn't really know who I was."

In the game, Canevari rushed for 265 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries as nationally ranked Don Bosco Prep won its fifth consecutive state title with a 37-27 victory over rival Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic. The performance prompted Mogridge and Shoop to revisit north New Jersey a week later.

"They came to my school and I talked to them for a little bit," Canevari said.

Since then, Mogridge and Shoop have maintained constant communication with Canevari.

"They just mostly are checking in, seeing how my holidays were going, and before the bowl game we talked about the bowl game," Canevari said.

Prior to the Dead Period, Mogridge invited Canevari to officially visit UNC.

"He said would I like to come see the campus," Canevari said. "I said I would love to."

Mogridge and Canevari settled on this coming weekend for the official visit. There, Canevari will discover the status of a potential scholarship offer.

"They want me to come and meet Coach [Butch] Davis so he can get a look at me, because he has only seen me on my highlight tape," Canevari said.

If Davis does decide to offer him, Canevari, who says UNC sits atop his favorite schools list, would likely make a verbal commitment on the spot.

"I've got a good connection with the coaches that I've met so far," Canevari said. "There's a lot of tradition with their football and it just seems like it would be the best place for me."

Akron is the only school to offer Canevari thus far. However, he's receiving significant interest from Boston College, Central Florida, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse.

Syracuse is the only school to mention the possibility of playing fullback to Canevari.

"I've never played fullback," Canevari said. "I've never been in a three-point [stance]. But I feel like I'm a running back."

Outside of UNC, Canevari doesn't have any other official trips scheduled. But, he is working on setting up a date with Akron after returning from UNC.

Canevari has started at Don Bosco since his sophomore season. However, he exclusively played defensive end the two seasons prior to his senior campaign.

"Coach [Greg] Toal came up to me and he asked me could I play defensive end for the team," Canevari said. "I said ‘Yes, whatever you need me to do.' I was always a running back, but I had to do what the team needed me to do."

For his senior season, Canevari was Don Bosco's feature running back. He ended the season with 1,758 yards and 32 touchdowns.

"They used me for power," Canevari said. "I was getting most of the carries and they asked me to do it all – block, catch, [and] run."

Paul Canevari

Inside Carolina Top Stories