UNC Moves Up Cardiello's List

At the very least, Friday's visit to North Carolina has earned UNC a return trip from Josh Cardiello.

"North Carolina is definitely right there and I want to take another visit so my dad can see it," Cardiello said. "I would probably say they're in my top five now. It's definitely a great program with even better academics – it's probably the closest you're going to get to an Ivy League school without being at an Ivy League school."

About a week ago, Cardiello , a 6-foot-2, 280-pound offensive lineman from Buford (Ga.), listed Florida, Florida State, and Georgia as his top three schools. He has extended that list to also include UNC and South Carolina.

"I haven't been up [to South Carolina] yet, but just talking to the coaches it seems like we really get along," Cardiello said.

Cardiello made the trek to Chapel Hill on Thursday evening accompanied by former teammate and UNC signee Nathan Staub, as well as Staub's father. The trio headed to UNC the following morning.

"It was a little different [visiting with a friend who is familiar with the school]," Cardiello said. "It was definitely insightful, because he told me why he liked everything there, what he liked, and he went in-depth with stuff that [UNC] didn't cover. It was definitely a positive having him there."

Cardiello's stay included UNC's practice on Friday afternoon.

"It was really up-tempo and really fast," Cardiello said. "Everybody really got after it. We watched them scrimmage at the end. It was pretty good overall. Everybody worked hard. I liked the way Coach Kap' [Chris Kapilovic] coaches."

Before heading to the practice field, Cardiello had a 30-minute meeting with Kapilovic, UNC's offensive line coach.

"He explained everything, [and] he answered all the questions that I had," Cardiello said. "He just clarified what the offense is going to be and how it's not going to be a typical spread. He talked about where they are going to use me, how he likes me at center, and how he really wants me.

"He told me how they're set at starter [at center], but their backup is a senior and they don't really have anyone that's played center. So I could come in there and really fight for a backup position as a freshman. That's big, because one injury and I'm in as a freshman."

The potential for early playing time is enticing for Cardiello, who has started for national football power Buford at right tackle since his sophomore season, but not a game changer.

"It's not going to be a major decisive factor, but it's definitely good to know," Cardiello said.

Cardiello's visit also included a campus tour and a meeting with UNC's strength and conditioning coach Lou Hernandez.

"[Hernandez] talked about what they do and what makes them different from other schools," Cardiello said.

The next two weekends, Cardiello will make return trips to Florida and Florida State. He has also previously visited Auburn and Georgia.

Each of the aforementioned schools has offered Cardiello besides Auburn.

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