UNC in Barber's Top Tier

North Carolina has improved its chances with Peyton Barber following his visit to its campus on Monday.

"They're definitely at the upper level of my schools now," Barber said. "I just liked what I saw. I have to say UNC is somewhat at the top – they are one or two."

UNC's biggest competition atop Barber's list is Arizona State and Mississippi. In addition to those three, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back from Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton is considering Clemson, South Florida, and UCLA.

"I pretty much like the way that [those six schools] run the ball," Barber said. "And I have a pretty good relationship with all their coaches."

Barber has visited all six, except Arizona State and UCLA. He's scheduled to travel to ASU on July 25 and could squeeze in a trip to UCLA at some point.

The timing of its movement bodes well for UNC's ultimate chances for Barber. He plans to make a verbal commitment by the end of the summer and could decide as early as the end of this month.

Accompanied by his father, Barber made a day trip to Chapel Hill.

"The visit was pretty good," Barber said. "We were there for one day pretty much – we went up and drove back [the same day]. We toured the campus, we looked at the academic facilities and everything they had to offer. We also got to see the football field."

Barber also received a better idea of how he fits into UNC's plans.

"They pretty much said that my sophomore or junior year, they're not really going to have any running backs, except for the other one they have committed [Khris Francis]," Barber said. "They said [Gio Bernard], he may be gone after this year."

Walt Bell, Barber's primary recruiter, returned to the football office on Monday from vacation to spend the day with Barber and his father.

"I really like Coach Bell," Barber said. "He seems like a players' coach. He's much younger than most of the coaches that I'm used to talking to, which was pretty cool because he knows where I'm coming from."

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