“I would say [North] Carolina is sticking above the rest right now,” the 2016 prospect said. “It’s just the coaches. Coach [Gunter] Brewer, that’s the coolest guy I know. He’s a coach but he’s also a friend. He likes to joke around.”
Deablo, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor, is looking to make a verbal commitment at the end of his football season.
Roughly 20 schools have offered Deablo a scholarship, including the likes of Ohio State. However, UNC is most likely to face the stiffest competition to land him from the four other members of his top five schools list -- Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
“South Carolina and Clemson, they’re not too far but they’re far enough,” Deablo said. “And they basically have hot weather down there.
“The rest of the schools, it’s just the interest that they’re showing in me.”
In addition to Brewer, Deablo’s fandom and recent exposure to Kenan Stadium’s game day atmosphere has contributed to UNC’s rise. Deablo, who grew up a UNC fan, attended his first two UNC football games live the past two months. He caught UNC’s victory over San Diego State, followed by Saturday’s loss to Virginia Tech.
“I love the fans there,” Deablo said. “Especially that night game that I went to when they played San Diego State, it was real nice. The student section was wild.”
The game against San Diego State also was UNC’s “Stripe Out” game. The fans were instructed to wear either black or Carolina Blue based on their seating section.
“I didn’t think they could pull it off, but they did,” Deablo said. “That was pretty cool to see.”
During both visits, shortly after he arrived Deablo was escorted to Larry Fedora’s office for a brief meeting with UNC’s head man.
“He has just said how he would really like for me to come there,” Deablo said. “He tells me it’s a great school. He tells me what’s going on that day. And he asks me about my team.”
Deablo’s two recent stays have also included interaction with Keith Gilmore, his primary recruiter, and Gunter Brewer, UNC’s wide receivers coach.
“[Brewer] is just creating a relationship with me – and that’s what I like about him,” Deablo said. “He’s also telling me to call him every Tuesday so we can talk about his game and my game from the weekend.”
UNC isn’t the only school Deablo has visited this football season. In fact, he has attended quite a few college football games. He began with South Carolina (vs. Texas A&M) the opening Thursday followed by Duke (vs. Elon) the subsequent Saturday. The weekend after attending the UNC-San Diego State game, he made the short trip to see Wake Forest host Army. He then caught Clemson vs. UNC in Death Valley.
Deablo will take a break from recruiting trips the next couple of weeks. When he resumes his travels, he’ll look into games at NC State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech.
Deablo’s junior football season hasn’t gone exactly as he had hoped. After opening with three victories, Mount Tabor has lost three of the past four games , including dropping both of its conference contests. Injuries have been the main culprit of the derailment, specifically at quarterback. When Mount Tabor’s starting QB went down in the fifth game, Deablo was moved under center to compensate. With a healthy quarterback in the first four games, Deablo was able to pull in 17 passes for 400 yards and two scores.
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