UNC Moving Forward with Ratliff

For several months now, North Carolina has maintained a lead for Anthony Ratliff.

A visit to UNC on Saturday for the basketball game against Kentucky further distanced the Tar Heels from the competition for the 6-foot, 179-pound quarterback from Matthews (N.C.) Butler.

"That [visit] pushed them forward even more, honestly" Ratliff said. "Because I haven't seen other schools pushing for me and showing me that level of interest. That has actually separated them from the pack."

In addition to UNC, Ratliff holds offers from Charlotte, Clemson, Mississippi State, NC State, and Toledo.

Ratliff says Clemson is running second, while Oregon, Ohio State, and Florida State round out his top five.

During the football season, Ratliff attended two games at Clemson (vs. Florida State and Georgia) and the Georgia-Missouri game in Athens.

After the holidays, Ratliff will look to make trips to Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, UNC, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, and South Carolina. If he is able to work out travel arrangements, he'd also like to visit both Oregon and UCLA.

"I'm going to that offseason where I take advantage of being a recruit and looking for what I want in a school," Ratliff said. "I definitely want to make it up to the schools I want to visit and I want to see."

Ratliff is eyeing a springtime verbal commitment. Worst case, he'd like to end his recruitment by the summer.

Ratliff's father has accompanied his son on several visits to Chapel Hill. However, Saturday was the first UNC exposure for Ratliff's mother and sister.

"It was a great experience," Ratliff said. "It was between two premiere basketball teams that pretty much everybody wants to be like. Being able to be there in that moment with the people that I love is just a great experience and I wouldn't change it for anything.

"[My family] loved everything about it. They were wide-eyed when we first walked in, but they loved everything. They loved the coaches, they loved the atmosphere, [and] they loved being in that kind of environment. I'm just so happy that they were there with me."

Traffic forced Ratliff to arrive later than he planned, but he reached campus in time for a quick tour of the football facilities plus brief meetings with Blake Anderson, Gunter Brewer, and Larry Fedora. Anderson is UNC's quarterbacks coach, while Brewer recruits Ratliff's area for UNC.

"They just mostly were seeing how things were going with me," Ratliff said. "We talked about my season and about my senior year coming up. They told me how much they want me and how I'd fit into their offense.

"It was a great conversation with all the coaches."

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