UNC Impresses Harold

Eli Harold made his second visit to North Carolina on Saturday.

"It went real, real, real well," said the 6-foot-4, 215-pound defensive end from Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes, who made his first visit to Chapel Hill last spring. "I really felt like I was at home."

The visit has officially evened the playing field between Harold's top three schools – Florida, UNC, and Virginia.

"Florida, that's been my dream school since I've been a little boy," Harold said. "That's always where I told my mom where I wanted to go and she passed away recently.

"I love UVa. My recruiting coordinator, [Chip] West, we really relate. He's a really cool guy.

"And then UNC just blew my mind when I went there. I just loved my time when I was there."

The most important factor in Harold's collegiate decision, which likely won't occur until after the football season, is the depth chart at defensive end.

"The biggest factors will be: how many people at my position they recruit, how many upperclassmen do they already have at my position, and would I possibly be able to step on the field early," Harold said.

Upon arriving on campus Saturday, Harold met with Butch Davis in his office.

"He talked about how, obviously, I have an offer from them and how he would use me if I were to come there and how he really liked my film," Harold said.

Harold also met individually with Everett Withers, UNC's defensive coordinator.

"He asked me do I ever stand up [on defense] at my high school and drop back in coverage," Harold said. "He said as athletic as I am he would do that with me, like Julius Peppers and guys do in the NFL. He could disguise the coverage and drop me back.

"And he wants me to come to camp."

For Ocean Lakes, Harold starts at both defensive end and wide receiver. He was an all-region selection at defensive end following a junior season in which he registered 30 tackles and seven sacks.

Although the coaching staff toyed with the notion of standing him up in practice, Harold never did so in a game.

"I would love to stand up," Harold said. "I like being the focal point of the defense."

After meeting with both UNC coaches, Harold watched his first basketball game live in the Smith Center.

"I love it," Harold said. "It was real intense. The crowd was loud. It was a great game."

Harold spent the rest of Saturday night with UNC freshman defensive backs Tre Boston and Jabari Price.

"They're real cool guys and they're both from Florida," Harold said. "They're just down-to-earth people. They really enjoyed me [and] I enjoyed them. We talked about how life is and we played video games."

Harold spent the night in Chapel Hill and left Sunday morning.

Besides UNC, Harold has visited Notre Dame, Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. He's planning a trip to Florida in April.

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