Rankins Thought About Committing

Sheldon Rankins, who has been leaning towards North Carolina for nearly a month now, attended the Tar Heels' Camp on Monday.

"It went great," Rankins said. "I got to hang out with Coach [Joe] Robinson for the first time in a football environment. I got to talk to Coach [Butch] Davis [and] Coach [Everett] Withers. [UNC] is still my leader right now – nothing has changed."

However, the visit strengthened Rankins' feelings for UNC and had the 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive lineman from Covington (Ga.) Eastside contemplating a verbal commitment.

"[The visit] really made me want to be there more," Rankins said. "I liked the place last year [when I camped there], but they made some changes – Coach Robinson wasn't the D-line coach then. After having interaction with him, it made me want to be there more.

"I thought about committing there, but I didn't want to make it a spur of the moment deal. I want to be able to go back home, be levelheaded, and then lay the whole thing out."

Rankins says he could make a verbal commitment at any moment – preferably before the start of his senior football season.

"There is no timeline [for a verbal commitment]," Rankins said. "It's just whenever I feel it's right."

In July, Rankins is scheduled to visit Mississippi and South Florida.

In late July, Rankins, who has received over 20 scholarship offers, crowned UNC his leader.

"First off, the education is top notch. Second, I just feel right at home – it's just a great place. Third, the playing time situation is great – they're only going to have two D-ends by the time I get there."

Rankins has played defensive end, defensive tackle, and outside linebacker for Eastside. He prefers to play end on the collegiate level.

"Defensive end, I feel like, it allows me to utilize my abilities to the maximum potential," Rankins said. "I move better than most D-linemen – even smaller ends. I'm able to get around the edge, but still have that power to maintain that low center of gravity. I just feel like [end] allows me to do what I do best."

Accompanied by his mother, two siblings, and a friend, Rankins arrived in Chapel Hill on Sunday night. On Monday morning, he participated in the first session of UNC's second two-day camp.

"I just wanted to get a feel for [Robinson] and how he coaches," Rankins said. "I really enjoyed it."

After the camp session, Rankins was given a tour of the entire campus, including the Smith Center and the dorms.

Before leaving campus on Monday afternoon, Rankins and his mother sat down with Davis.

"He basically talked to me about if I feel the place is right for me, go ahead and commit," Rankins said. "But he's not pressuring me into making any kind of decision. He just wants me to be sure I'm making the right decision."

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