Peterson Taking Official Visit

According to Auburn (Ala.) head football coach Tim Carter, Southern Miss verbal commitment Caleb Peterson will officially visit North Carolina this weekend.

"I think the tradition of North Carolina and the prominence of the school was attractive to Caleb and his family," Carter said. "The added bonus was Coach [Larry] Fedora and his staff – Coach [Chris Kapilovic] especially, who has recruited the brothers to Southern Mississippi – they have a strong relationship with them. Caleb, as a result, has a very strong interest in North Carolina."

Peterson, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman, began hearing from UNC almost immediately after Kapilovic followed Fedora to UNC. Carter himself has fielded a couple phone calls from Kapilovic since his move to Chapel Hill and UNC's new offensive line coach visited Peterson after school on Friday.

At least 20 schools have offered Peterson, including Alabama, Auburn, and Stanford.

"He had a lot of early interest," Carter said. "I'm not so sure he was rated high enough. I'm not so sure he wasn't the best O-lineman in the state of Alabama this year.

"He played in the Alabama-Mississippi [All-Star] Game. He played left tackle, and took every snap that day. He blocked some of the top players like Channing Ward and held his own.

"He's had a phenomenal career for us. He's a kid that's 6-4-plus [and] he's 295 pounds – and it's a very solid 295. He has a chance to come in and play as a freshman – he's that type of player and that type of kid. He's a great student, as well."

The combination of Peterson's brother's presence on Southern Miss' roster (where he was a redshirt freshman in 2011) and Kapilovic's efforts contributed greatly to Southern Miss' ability to secure a verbal commitment from Peterson in August over in-state schools Alabama and Auburn, who have combined to win the past three national championships.

"Coach Kap' recruited Alabama for Southern Miss and if you look at the kids that they've signed out of Alabama, he did a fabulous job," Carter said. "He had some great kids committed prior to the staff moving on in this year's class – Jonathan Wallace, the quarterback at Phenix City (Ala.) Central, they had the tackle from Fairhope (Ala.) [Robert Leff] who has since switched to Auburn. Coach Kap' is just a guy that I have a tremendous amount of confidence in. He's just a very straight forward guy and he's a tireless worker. Whether we had a player or not, he always made a stop [here] on his trip."

Now Kapilovic's challenge is to sway Peterson away from Southern Miss.

"I think [UNC's chances] are very good by the fact that [Peterson] is making the trip," Carter said.

Carter adds that other schools are "involved" with Peterson. However, as far as Carter knows, Peterson doesn't have any additional official visits scheduled.

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