Prince Preparing to Enroll

With countless unofficial visits to the school under his belt, this past weekend's North Carolina official visit was more of a formality for verbal commitment R.J. Prince.

"Basically, [the official visit] was for academic reasons," said Prince, who plans to major in Exercise and Sports Science. "I got to meet with the professors. Other than that, it was pretty much the same thing, but I ate a lot – I probably gained ten pounds this weekend.

"But I realized that UNC is the right place for me. I picked the right school."

Prince, a 6-foot-7, 315-pound offensive tackle from Albemarle (N.C.), has spent so much time during past visit exploring the campus that he could provide tours himself.

"I know the place from top to bottom," Prince said.

After contributing to Albemarle's second round NCHSAA 1A playoff victory over Monroe (N.C.) Union Academy, Prince and his mother arrived in Chapel Hill to begin the official visit. Although she hasn't visited UNC as much as her son, Prince's mother is also very familiar with UNC.

"She loves it," Prince said. "It's probably her favorite place she has ever visited. She loves it to death."

Offensive lineman Jarrod James served as Prince's player host for the weekend. The two have bonded during several of Prince's previous visits.

"He is my mentor, really," Prince said. "He's like a big brother to me and he's a real good friend."

On Saturday afternoon, Prince attended UNC's 68-50 loss to Georgia Tech. Like most other experiences over the weekend, a Tar Heel football game isn't new for Prince. He has been in Kenan Stadium for every home game except the Virginia Tech game, plus the Miami game last season.

"The team did alright," Prince said. "The defense has got to step up – especially the secondary. Every time Georgia Tech threw the ball, they got burned. But other than that, it was a good game – it was a high scoring game."

Following the game, Prince, his mother, fellow verbal commitment and official visitor Khris Francis and his parents, and UNC assistant coaches Chris Kapilovic and Randy Jordan ate at a local restaurant.

"It was a good time," Prince said.

On Sunday morning, Prince met individually with Kapilovic, his primary recruiter and future position coach.

"He mostly was talking about how my season was winding down," Prince said. "He was asking me about the all-star games that I'm going to. And then he told me what to expect once I get on campus. He told me not to get too overzealous over anything, because I'm coming in to work."

After his senior football season, which he hopes ends with a third state championship in four years, Prince will represent the state of North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl on Dec. 15. He'll then play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl on Dec. 31 to conclude his high school career.

In January, Prince will enroll in classes at UNC, which will allow him to participate in spring practice.

"I talked to the coaches and they told me at the right tackle position, there are no starters," Prince said. "They expect me to come in and compete. They want me to come in and get stronger, faster, bigger."

Prince ended his UNC official visit in Larry Fedora's office.

"[Fedora] talked about the same things that I talked about with Coach Kap'," Prince said. "He told me to be ready. He talked to my mom about the in-home visit. But he said to be ready because it will come fast."

R.J. Prince Profile

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