New O-Line Target Emerges, Visits

While evaluating senior footage, the North Carolina coaching staff uncovered an offensive guard target to add to its recruiting board – Darius Garcia, a 6-foot-3, 260-pounder from Midlothian (Va.) Manchester.

"After they saw my highlight tape, they got in contact with me and wanted me to come down there," Garcia said. "So I made the trip [this past Saturday]."

Assistant coach Walt Bell, who recruits the greater Richmond area for UNC, made initial contact with Garcia during the spring. However, UNC's recruiting efforts where accelerated after they received Garcia's senior season footage.

"[Bell] said they watched the film [and] they liked it a lot," Garcia said. "They didn't point out anything in particular. But I think from my junior season to my senior season, I improved how well I moved.

"He told me they have one [scholarship] left and they're trying to give me that one spot. But I have to make sure I give them all the stuff that they ask for and make sure I stay on top of my grades. And they want me to keep in touch."

Garcia is awaiting his first scholarship offer, but NC State and Virginia, in addition to UNC, are showing significant interest. Several other regional schools have yet to review his senior film.

Garcia starts at right guard for Manchester where he says he's averaging five pancake blocks a game. Interested colleges have mentioned every position along the offensive line when discussing Garcia's collegiate position, though most simply say "offensive lineman." UNC projects as a guard.

Shortly after arriving at UNC on Saturday, Garcia was given a tour of the facilities.

"I liked it, because they had a pretty decent size weight room," Garcia said. "And then when it comes to feeding the players, they have foods labeled to help you out with certain things and it's open 24-7. Everything is right there, so you don't have to leave the facilities – everything is right there."

The tour was followed by lunch where several members of the Tar Heels' coaching staff conversed with Garcia, namely Walt Bell, Gunter Brewer, Larry Fedora, and Chris Kapilovic.

"They talked to me about how good my highlight tape was and about how they're really interested in getting me to come there," Garcia said.

After watching pregame warm-ups from the sidelines, Garcia was treated to UNC's 48-32 victory over Virginia Tech.

"I noticed they run the ball a lot – I like that," Garcia said. "The fans were good. The participation was nice. It was a hyped crowd which made the game real fun."

The weekend prior, Garcia had visited Virginia. He has also camped at Virginia Tech and attended Maryland's spring game.

Garcia's travels have resulted in UNC and Virginia rising to co-leader positions in his mind.

"One, I like how close they are," Garcia said. "And I like how cool the coaches are. With UNC [in particular], I like how everything is in one area and how good their fans are. And then UVa, I mostly just like the atmosphere up there and the student body."

This weekend, Garcia plans to return to Virginia for the Cavaliers' Homecoming Game against Maryland. He also plans to be back in Chapel Hill in a couple weekends for the UNC-NC State game. Additionally, he says he has an East Carolina game on his schedule.

Darius Garcia Profile

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