UNC Top 5 for Coveted N.J. QB

Keith Heckendorf's evaluation trip to Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic High on Wednesday resulted in the formalization of Jarrett Guarantano's North Carolina scholarship offer.

"Prior to [Wednesday], he said the offer was on the table," Guarantano said. "But he wanted to swing by and see me throw a tiny bit.

"Afterwards, he said he has seen maybe 20 quarterbacks in my grade and he thought I was one of the best in the country. And he thought I was a perfect fit for their offense just because of my skill base. He would really love for me to come down for their camp in the summer time, which I probably will because it would be a good situation for me."

Ten schools have offered Guarantano, a 6-foot-3, 191-pound quarterback. Arizona State, Boston College, Clemson, Michigan State, Nebraska, UNC, Ohio State, Rutgers, Tennessee, and Virginia comprise his offer list. Ohio State, which he labels a "big surprise," as well as Boston College and Michigan State offered him on Thursday.

While visiting family in Winston-Salem in February, Guarantano decided to stop by UNC.

"I have a lot of family down there and Carolina is always a school that I like," Guarantano said. "So I took a visit just to see how everything was."

That stay included a full campus tour and an introduction to the coaching staff.

"I think it was probably the nicest campus that I've been to out of all the schools that I've visited," Guarantano said. "I loved the coaching staff – they were all honest and believed in my talents and abilities."

Besides UNC, Guarantano has visited Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Tennessee.

An hour-long meeting with Larry Fedora was also a part of Guarantano's UNC visit.

"He just talked about life and making the right decision," Guarantano said. "He said I should always make the decision that's going to help me further in life. And he felt like North Carolina was the place that was going to help me most out of all the colleges."

UNC has been recruiting Guarantano since his freshman year, with Keith Gilmore and Seth Littrell heading up the effort. Since that February visit, though, Heckendorf has taken over the reins. As a result, Guarantano calls Heckendorf once a week.

"[The relationship with Heckendorf] is a very strong relationship," Guarantano said. "We see eye to eye with everything. We've really hit it off. Everything is positive and everything is great."

With a visit under his belt plus a formal offer, Guarantano has strong feelings toward UNC.

"North Carolina is definitely a top five school in my book right now," Guarantano said. "It's a place I felt most comfortable at. It's a very family oriented place – that's something I really, really appreciate. And the fact that it's close to my family – my two uncles, cousins, and grandmother – just makes it even more so a better place for me."

Guarantano doesn't have an official top five schools list, but said he feels similarly strong about Clemson, Ohio State, and Tennessee.

"Those are the schools I feel most comfortable with," Guarantano said.

In addition to UNC, Guarantano is considering camping at Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oklahoma this summer.

After seeing spot duty as a freshman, Guarantano became the starting quarterback of Bergen Catholic's offense, which incorporates spread and pro concepts, for the last four games of his sophomore season. He finished his 2013 season with 39 completions in 80 attempts for 449 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Jarrett Guarantano Profile

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