Rodgers Receives Full View of UNC

Having visited North Carolina twice previously under the Butch Davis/Everett Withers regime, Na'Ty Rodgers returned to Chapel Hill late last week to formally introduce himself to UNC's current coaching staff.

"The coaches really didn't know me," Rodgers said. "I know that when a new staff comes in they have their own recruits. So I wanted to get to know them and have them get to know me.

"It's a great school, they're on the rise, they've put a lot of money in their academics and their football program, and they're really trying to do things the right way. Just going down there and seeing first person and then meeting all the coaches, I really have a good feeling about North Carolina."

Rodgers, 6-foot-4, 255-pound offensive lineman from Pomfret (Md.) McDonough, camped at UNC last summer – where he earned his first scholarship offer – and returned to Chapel Hill last fall for the game against Miami.

After UNC offered last summer, 17 other schools followed suit, including Arkansas, Colorado, NC State, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Tennessee, and Washington.

With his parents in tow, Rodgers arrived at UNC on Thursday evening. From the get-go he saw the student life of the school.

"I stayed in a dorm with Landon Turner," Rodgers said. "He just showed me a good time. We went down to Franklin Street and got something to eat and met some players. It was just a good time. It was life on the campus without the coaches – just being a regular college student."

The following morning, Rodgers accompanied Turner to his classes.

"It was a great experience," Rodgers said. "It was kind of cool to wake up, your parents aren't there, you go get your breakfast, and then you go to class.

"A college class is obviously a lot different from a high school class. There were probably 200 kids in there. Everyone there is focused on learning – there were no knuckleheads acting up or horsing around. It was all about education."

After the day's class schedule, Rodgers had a meeting with Chris Kapilovic, UNC's offensive line coach.

"We talked a little bit and just got to know each other a little bit," Rodgers said. "He just talked to me about himself, where he coached before, [and] the type of things he likes to do. I told him what I like to do. We were just trying to get to know each other."

Rodgers followed that with a meeting with Larry Fedora.

"We sat down and had a small conversation with my parents," Rodgers said. "He was just letting me know if I come there he's pretty much going to treat me like his son – he's going to treat me just like he treats his own children. He seems like a very hands-on type of coach."

Rodgers concluded his UNC stay with UNC's practice that afternoon.

"It was a pre-game [for the spring game] so it was a light practice," Rodgers said. "They went through their plays.

"I didn't see too much change from the old staff – they still practice hard. There really wasn't anything different than the different faces. Coach Kap', he's a great offensive line coach just like Coach [Sam] Pittman was."

Rodgers plans to return to UNC's camp this summer where he'll work out under Kapilovic.

After leaving UNC, Rodgers spent two days at South Carolina. He has previously visited Colorado, Maryland, Southern Cal, Washington, and West Virginia.

"My father, he lives out in California, so going out there I see all those schools and I obviously get to see all the schools around here," Rodgers said. "It's good to see different schools from different conferences. It's crazy to see how different a place can be only a couple miles away from each other, like Duke and North Carolina."

Rodgers' visits haven't truly resulted in a favorite schools list – or even a favorite region of the country.

"Definitely the schools that I've seen are going to pop out right now when I think about playing college football," Rodgers said. "I really want to see a few more schools before I start narrowing it down.

"I like little things about every [region]. I like the west, because I can be playing in front of a lot of my family. And then in the south – in the SEC – it's the best of the best. And then in the east, all my friends and family can come see me play. I really don't know – they all have their advantages and disadvantages."

In two weeks, Rodgers is returning to Washington. He also plans to visit Pittsburgh soon with his team for a seven-on-seven.

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