Ratliff Feels at Home at UNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Anthony Ratliff, North Carolina's top quarterback target, might have found his college home.

"[UNC] might be the place for me," Ratliff said. "I feel like I'm at home. That's the best place I can get [that feeling] right now. That's what player's are looking for in recruitment – that home feeling.

"And on top of that, it's just the great players they're bringing in, the in-state players, [and] they're building something great."

Coupling those thoughts with the trend for quarterbacks to decide earlier than most positions has Ratliff, a 6-foot, 179-pounder from Matthews (N.C.) Butler, contemplating a verbal commitment.

"If it's not early, it will probably be late spring/early summer," Ratliff said.

Before actually pulling the trigger, Ratliff plans to make a few more recruiting trips. Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech are destinations on his docket.

The only trips Ratliff has made since the end of the football season were to Duke, the newest school to offer him, and UNC. The UNC visit – its March junior day – is what has led him to ponder making a verbal commitment.

"That was a great day," Ratliff said of the UNC Junior Day. "That will be one I'll never forget being a Duke game and all. Being in that atmosphere was big and being at a game that's nationally known."

While the basketball game against Duke was the highlight, the football staff had quite the lead up planned for its visitors.

"The first thing I noticed was the blue carpet when I first got there," Ratliff said. "And then when you get on it, you had those guys [pretending] to interview you. That was a big wow factor.

"After walking in, they showed each player a certain amount of love. You get that from them and then on top of that the game that we were able to go to, the experience beforehand, watching the hype video, and then just being around the coaches and in that atmosphere once again was something great."

The basketball team provided an assist by coming from behind to defeat Duke, which led the fans to storm the court afterwards. Ratliff admits he was among the mob that made its way onto the floor of the Smith Center.

"That was something that you can't replay," Ratliff said. "You can't relive. You just have to go through it and hold onto it. It was one of the greatest things that I've ever done in my life by far. Storming the court at a Carolina game has always been a dream of mine, so doing that was hot."

If there has been any negative for Ratliff related to UNC it's the turnover on the coaching staff. He had a strong relationship built with Blake Anderson, UNC's former quarterbacks coach who in December accepted the head coaching position at Arkansas State. In February, Keith Heckendorf replaced Anderson.

"I definitely talk with Coach Heck a lot," Ratliff said. "We're building a bond quick, so that's something great right there. I definitely contact him when I can. Every chance I get, I call him.

"He's a great coach, great man [with a] great personality. It's kind of like the quarterback coach never left."

Gunter Brewer, who recruits the Charlotte area for UNC, bridged the gap between Anderson and Heckendorf, assuring there wasn't any void in UNC's recruitment of Ratliff.

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