Stanley Accelerates Timetable

LATTA, S.C. --- Donell Stanley's plan had been to announce his collegiate decision at the Under Armour All-American Game. He has since altered that timeline.

"I don't want to take that long," Stanley said. "I'll decide here shortly. If not before the season, a little bit after it. I already know what each school has to offer me.

"But I'm looking to end it, because I'm ready to make a decision. I just want to get it out of the way. It gets kind of stressful. You have to think about it every day. I just figured I'm going to go ahead and get it done."

Stanley, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive lineman from Latta (S.C.) High, will choose between finalists Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

"I see them as good programs that have good people," Stanley said. "They are winning programs that aren't too far from home. And I can see myself playing at one of those four."

Those four aforementioned schools made the cut from an offer list that spanned coast to coast and included Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and USC.

"He's pretty good," said Latta head coach Kelly Williamson with a laugh. "We expect big things out of him, because he's – I think – the best player in the state.

"He's got great feet. His hips are so good. From the waist down he's got so many positives. I've never seen a kid that can play with the angles that he can play with. To be that age and to have that flexibility is key in an offensive lineman."

Among the four finalists, Stanley says he's not leaning towards any one of the four.

"Not yet," Stanley said. "All four are equal."

In an effort to break the four-way tie, Stanley plans to attend early season games at each of his final four.

"I just want to get up there and see how I like it," Stanley said. "I want to see what my mind goes with and hopefully it goes with the right decision."

For college football's opening week, Stanley is trying to see three of his four finalists in person. He's working on attending the UNC-South Carolina game in Columbia followed by the Georgia-Clemson game a few days later.

"It's looking pretty good for that Thursday game," Stanley said. "We're trying to get out of class here at 4 o'clock so I have time to get to Columbia and see that. And Saturday, my coach goes to every [Clemson] game so he'll probably just take me if my uncle doesn't want to go."

Stanley, who has made three unofficial visits to UNC but never for a game, plans to attend a game in Chapel Hill at some point to take in its atmosphere. However, the UNC-South Carolina match-up will allow him to observe the Tar Heels' offense in-person. That offense – which is a one-back, no-huddle spread – is one of the attributes that Stanley likes about UNC.

"I like what Coach [Larry] Fedora is doing over there at North Carolina," Stanley said. "They're producing some pretty good NFL players, particularly at the O-line. And I think they're getting their program turned around and will be in the race to win the ACC Championship."

Additionally, Stanley has established a strong relationship with Chris Kapilovic, UNC's offensive line.

"Coach Kap, he's a good guy," Stanley said. "He's a good coach and I like what he does. We talk pretty much weekly.

"We pretty much like doing the same things. He's a good fishing man – every time I call him he's fishing and every time he contacts me I might be fishing. So we got a lot to relate to. "

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