North Struggling with Decision

A recent text message exchange between Ramondo North and his son Marquez summed up the star wide receiver's current recruiting stance.

"The text said ‘I don't know Dad. I like both of them,'" Mr. North said. "Marquez is not feeling [the recruiting process] at all – he doesn't like it. When I talk to him, I talk to him when he wants to talk. I don't really try to get it out of him.

"But for him to [text me] that, he's thinking. So right now I'm just leaving him alone and letting him just pray about it."

The "both" North was referring to are North Carolina and Tennessee. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound wide receiver from Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek is also considering Clemson and is receiving a late push from Notre Dame.

"Notre Dame called last night," Mr. North said. "Notre Dame is supposed to be sending me some stuff. But I told Notre Dame, ‘It's basically short notice about everything'… I don't really think Marquez is concerned with Notre Dame."

Up until recently, North was set to announce his collegiate decision during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. However, after an in-home visit by Tennessee's newly hired head coach Butch Jones, North isn't going to be ready by then.

"I told him he needs to make sure he's making the right choice," Mr. North said. "So he wants more time to decide what he's going to do. Basically, he said it's hard [and] he doesn't know what to choose. He likes Carolina and he likes Tennessee. He likes Clemson, also. But when it comes down to it, he actually doesn't know what to choose. I told him he has to feel it in his heart and go from there."

To find that ultimate feeling, North will continue to take visits. The only trip scheduled is an official visit to Clemson the weekend of Jan. 11.

"He wants to go there to see how he fits in with the team," Mr. North said. "When we go to Clemson it's going to be their banquet day and there's going to be a whole lot of players. Marquez knows the players, but he wants to see how he fits in with them and how they get along."

North also plans to schedule an official visit with UNC. The Tar Heels coaching staff is hoping he will be a part of its Jan. 18 official visit weekend. That's the same weekend that the majority of its 2013 verbal commitments will be officially visiting and the basketball team hosts Maryland. However, North's father will be out of town and North could potentially be accompanying him.

"If Marquez doesn't want to go [with me], then maybe he'll go to Carolina [that weekend]," Mr. North said.

Back in October, North officially visited Tennessee under the Derek Dooley regime. To get a better feel for the Volunteers new coaching staff, he plans to make an unofficial trip to Knoxville sometime in January. "When we went up there the first time, we knew all the coaches, but now he needs to meet all the [new] coaches and meet the offensive coordinator and receivers coach to see what they're trying to put together," Mr. North said. "The only thing we know about them right now is that they run the spread. I know one receiver might go pro, but I'm not sure if the other receiver is going to go pro. Basically, we're trying to make sure [Marquez] knows everything before he makes his choice."

The elder North says that his son sees a lot of positives in UNC, including the fact that it's an in-state school, but is unsure of the playing time situation.

"The only thing he's concerned about at Carolina is the depth chart," Mr. North said. "There are a lot of receivers there. Marquez doesn't want to be rotated in and out – he wants to play."

The fact that UNC is still battling strong for North is a credit to the tireless work of assistant coach Gunter Brewer. Brewer visited North and/or his family every week during the contact period, including trips to both parents' houses, as well as his grandparents' Lumberton home.

"All the visits have been great," Mr. North said. "Coach Brewer explains everything well, he knows his stuff, and he's funny too – he has a lot of sly jokes. We enjoy having him to the house. Basically, we know everything Carolina has to offer through Coach Brewer. Coach Brewer puts it all on the table."

North's Mallard Creek teammate Brian Walker has been verbally committed to UNC since March.

"When he and B-Walker get together, they basically just have fun," Mr. North said. "They don't really talk about school. They're just enjoying their senior year. Like last night they were at the house and they weren't really discussing college – they were just in there playing PlayStation and joking with each other."

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