Reader Is All About Coaches

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- D.J. Reader has trimmed his schools under consideration to three with no clear-cut leader for the 6-foot-4, 330-pound lineman from Greensboro Grimsley.

"I've narrowed it down to Clemson, [North] Carolina, and Maryland," Reader said. "All of them are within five hours of my house. All of them I just really bonded with the coaching staff."

One of his finalists, UNC, is in the middle of major changes to its coaching staff. Late last week, the Tar Heels named Larry Fedora as their new head coach. Fedora is expected to make massive changes to UNC's current staff.

"I haven't really talked to Coach Fedora," Reader said. "I don't know much about Coach Fedora. I know he had a really good season last year and beat Houston. But other than that, I don't know that much about him.

"I just hope they keep Coach [Sam] Pittman. Coach Pittman is a big reason why I like Carolina."

Reader last spoke to Pittman a week ago – before Fedora's hiring.

"[Pittman] didn't tell me anything [about a possible coaching change]," Reader said. "I found out about it on a web site."

To break the tie among his three finalists, Reader will lean heavily on his official visits. Reader, who has already taken an official trip to Maryland, is scheduled to officially visit Clemson the weekend of Jan. 20 and UNC the weekend of Jan. 27.

Until the latter part of January, Reader will pay little attention to his recruitment. His focus this week is representing North Carolina in the 75th Annual Shrine Bowl.

The North Carolina Shrine Bowl coaching staff selected Reader, who started both ways in high school, to play offensive guard, where he's projected to be a starter.

"It's more one-gap zone here," Reader said. "In high school we do a lot of outside zone. It's not much different. It's easy to catch on to."

With a preference for defense, Reader has lobbied for at least a few defensive reps.

"I don't think I'm going to be successful," Reader said. "I'm probably going to be only playing O-line, which is all right."

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