In-State RB Makes Return Visit

Rontonio Stanley has visited North Carolina twice, most recently for for the Tar Heels' Spring Game.

"After visiting the campus, you can see the coaches love their players," Stanley said. "If you go to North Carolina, there's pure love. They have a high expectation of you. They want you to do the best you can do. I see that they will make sure that your academics are first, then football – perform in the classroom then on the field."

During both Saturday's visit and UNC's Junior Day in March, Stanley, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound tailback from Tabor City (N.C.) South Columbus, has had conversations with members of UNC's coaching staff, including Ken Browning, UNC's running backs coach, and Sam Pittman, his area recruiter.

"They haven't talked about offering, but I know they're still evaluating me," Stanley said.

Stanley, who was named Columbus County Player of the Year after rushing for 2,005 yards and 31 touchdowns, has flown under the recruiting radar.

"It takes time," Stanley said. "I'm not mad. If I get a scholarship that would be great."

Stanley says he's hearing from all the in-state schools, but that UNC is recruiting him the hardest. The interest from the Tar Heels has contributed to them being his leader.

"My interest level [in UNC] is very high," Stanley said. "As far as the academic part, [UNC offers] sports medicine and I was thinking about majoring in that. And it has a very high academic reputation with what I want to major in."

UNC has developed somewhat of a pipeline between it and South Columbus with the signings of Ethan Farmer in 2010, Greg Elleby in 2006, and Bryan Dixon in 2005.

"It gives me confidence to know that if they can do it coming from South Columbus, then I can do it and be as successful as they've been," Stanley said.

Stanley is very close to both Farmer and Elleby. "Even though we have a different mother, they're like an older brother to me," Stanley said. "They are somebody I can look up to and they've had a positive influence on me. I like to follow in their footsteps."

Stanley and Farmer communicate at least every other week.

"Ethan has said it's study then practice, study then practice," Stanley said. "It's a routine thing, which helps stay on your academics."

This Saturday Stanely will visit NC State for the Wolfpack's Spring Game.

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