Spain's New Perspective

One of Larry Fedora's recruiting goals was to sign as many of the top in-state prospects as possible. By securing verbal commitments from two of NC's top 10 2014 prospects – Elijah Hood and Bentley Spain – Fedora has made strides in that endeavor.

"I think it's awesome," Spain said. "All us guys kind of know each other, which is good. I think this is a really talented state. I know a lot of guys in the past have all gone out-of-state to just random places. It's going to be beneficial for us to start heading to UNC."

Fellow North Carolinains that accompany Hood and Spain on UNC's commitment list include Josh Cabrera, Cayson Collins, Robert Dinkins, Avery Edwards, Freeman Jones, and Austin Proehl.

Considered by many as the state's top prospect, Hood's addition to the list a few weeks back was a major coup. When Hood de-committed from Notre Dame, Spain reached out to the fellow four-star prospect. The conversation was brief, but straightforward.

"It was more so ‘What are you waiting for?'" Spain said.

Hood's and Spain's relationship began earlier in the recruiting process. Prior to Spain committing to UNC and Hood committing to Notre Dame, they discussed possibly pledging to UNC together.

"At the time that we did [talk about committing to UNC together] we were both still kind of unsure where we both wanted to go in general," Spain said. "So we just kind of put it off."

About a month before Hood committed to UNC, Spain pledged himself during a surprise campus visit. For the first time since that visit, Spain was in Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels' home opener.

"There was kind of a feeling of relief knowing that's where I wanted to be and not having to worry about being recruited," Spain said. "It felt really good."

Instead of being the recruit, Spain was the recruiter. Along with Charlotte (N.C.) Providence teammate Austin Proehl, Spain introduced a couple of his teammates to Chapel Hill – Jack King and Tyler Pistorio, both '16 safety prospects.

"Austin and I showed them around," Spain said. "Obviously, we told them about the coaches and the program, so we're starting early."

The group spent some time with Spain's future position coach, Chris Kapilovic.

"I still talk to [Kapilovic] once a week and we send Facebook messages," Spain said. "I'm really excited about working with him when I get there."

Spain, who is not a newcomer to UNC games, was able to witness the new "Victory Walk" and enjoy other game pageantry, such as Tar Heel Town.

"I think the atmosphere is awesome," Spain said. "I think it has tremendously improved from when I was visiting my sophomore year. It's been a world of a difference and definitely for the better. I can't pin-point one thing, I just think it's more excitement in general."

During the game, Spain was able to get another close look at the offense he'll be playing in at UNC.

"It's very similar to what we're doing at Providence," Spain said. "There are definitely some differences. The spread is pretty much what we're doing [at Providence]… We're doing some hurry up now, which is kind of getting me ready – I know I won't be 100-percent ready until I have actually done it with [UNC]. I do so much zone blocking in high school that I think it will be a pretty smooth transition."

During the off-season, Providence's coaching staff moved Spain inside to guard to get more of a push on inside runs and to pull block with him. After practicing at guard all preseason and playing the position in the season opener, Spain was moved back to offensive tackle, his projected college position.

Providence has gotten off to a 2-2 start. It has a bye this week followed by Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic next week, which would pit Spain up against fellow UNC pledge Robert Dinkins.

"I'm excited about [playing against Dinkins]," Spain said. "It might be kind of weird, because when I've talked to him it's always been friendly, but now we're opponents. But I think it will be good for our camaraderie."

Bentley Spain Profile

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