UNC Targeting N.J. Athlete

Back in September, North Carolina became the first school to verbally offer Brandon Napoleon a scholarship. Since then, Rutgers has come forward with a verbal offer of its own and several other schools have express significant interest.

"I have nine [schools] that have committed to offer me in August," Napoleon said.

Besides Rutgers and UNC, Napoleon is hearing from Florida, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Stanford, Temple, and Virginia Tech.

UNC is recruiting Napoleon, a 5-foot-10, 180-pounder from Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's, as a quarterback/athlete.

"I'd go in as a quarterback," Napoleon said. "If I don't pan out there, I'll be moved to corner. But they're giving me an opportunity to play quarterback."

Napoleon estimates that half the schools recruiting him are recruiting him for quarterback, while the other half like him as a cornerback.

"All I want is the opportunity to play quarterback," Napoleon said.

Napoleon earned a spot in St. Peter's starting lineup as a sophomore at cornerback. The following off-season, he became the starting quarterback throwing for 1,065 yards on 60-of-101 passes and rushing for over 300 yards on 30 carries with ten total touchdowns. He also had an interception in spot duty on defense.

Napoleon made his first visit to UNC in late January.

"It has a great campus – it was beautiful," Napoleon said. "When I first got there, I was surprised by how hot it was – it was snowing in New Jersey."

Upon his arrival, Napoleon was given a campus tour. He was then introduced to most of UNC's coaching staff, including a 45-minute long meeting with quarterbacks coach John Shoop.

"I watched some film on quarterbacks – mechanics and stuff like that," Napoleon said. "I got to learn his philosophy and how he teaches the quarterbacks."

Napoleon was then treated to the UNC-NC State basketball game.

"The whole place was packed," Napoleon said. "In the beginning, they played ‘Jump Around' and the whole building was shaking."

Following the visit, Napoleon has a favorable view of UNC.

"It's a great school – you can't go wrong," Napoleon said. "I love the campus. The coaches there, they seem very trustworthy [and] honest."

Besides UNC, Napoleon visited Maryland during his freshman year, West Virginia twice last year (spring game and a football game against Rutgers), and Rutgers a couple of times.

Napoleon plans on returning to Maryland this Saturday and UNC on April 9 for its spring game. He's also scheduled to visit Michigan on March 26.

Typically, quarterbacks decide early in the process. However, Napoleon, who doesn't claim any favorite schools, is unsure when he'll make a decision.

"I'm still feeling it out," Napoleon said. "I'm going to see how it goes and talk to my family about it – we'll make the decision together. There's a possibility I could [decide before my senior football season], but I don't know. I want to enjoy my senior year, but I don't know yet."

Napoleon does, though, know what he's looking for in a school.

"Academics first and then the history of the football program, campus lifestyle, and the coaches," Napoleon said. "I want to stay close to home, but that doesn't mean I want to stay in New Jersey. I want to stay close to home like on the east coast or the southeast – the west coast is too far."

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