William Sweet, The Recruiter

From the time the 6-foot-5, 277-pound offensive tackle entered a car destined for Chapel Hill at the crack of dawn Saturday and until he returned home nearly 48 hours later, William Sweet was not a Tar Heel recruit – he was a Tar Heel recruiter.

Sweet’s first target: fellow passenger/UNC pledge/Jacksonville (Fla.) native Andre Smith. Although Smith has been verbally committed to UNC for over a year, he has visited other schools and sent out a couple of tweets last week that raised concern among Tar Heel faithful regarding his commitment status.

“My pitch to him was you don’t stay committed that long if you never really loved it,” Sweet said. “To be honest, I think he got caught up in the excitement [of recruiting], because you know there are a lot of great schools, a lot of great people, and a lot of great opportunities. He just had to be reminded how much he loved where we’re going.”

It’s easy for Sweet to relate exactly to what Smith is going through since schools continued to pursue him, despite his nearly eight-month long commitment with UNC. Those advances led Sweet to officially visit LSU, Missouri, and Tennessee.

“I’m a Tar Heel,” Sweet said.

So, how successful was Sweet’s recruitment of Smith?

“Andre is a Tar Heel,” Sweet said. “We’re all good to go. That’s my boy.”

Once Smith and Sweet reached Chapel Hill, others intersected Sweet’s crosshairs – namely Chris Clark, as well as official visitors Stephen Griffin, Mike Hughes, and Tony Nicholson. Sweet spent the most time recruiting Clark and Hughes bombarding both as soon as they arrived on campus.

“Really, I was just telling them just to pray on everything and not to go somewhere because of the name brand,” Sweet said. “Like for example, you don’t want to go to Florida just because it’s Florida – if you want to go to Florida, you want to go to Florida because you love Florida. I was just telling those guys that they have to just look at the positives and the negatives. Don’t look at all the shine and glitter – look at can you actually picture yourself there even when you have some bad times, because you’re going to have some bad times.”

UNC had some bad times on Saturday – three hours worth to be exact – in its defeat at the hands of rival N.C. State.

“I will say [how a game’s outcome affects a recruit] will depend on the recruit’s mindset,” Sweet said. “That mindset varies.

“I’m not used to getting my butt kicked,” said Sweet, whose high school has a combined 56-5 record the past four seasons. “I’m going to influence a lot of guys – if not the whole football staff – that we are not going to let that happen again. That right there is never going to happen again. I don’t care if I have to play running back.”

On the few occasions he took a break from recruiting, Sweet spent time with members of the UNC staff. In particular, he has developed a strong bond with area recruiter Dan Disch and future position coach Chris Kapilovic.

“They’ve been the same since they first started recruiting me,” Sweet said. “They haven’t promised me anything that some other schools have promised me.

“I believe that if you’re promising me something how many other guys are you promising the same thing? And how can you promise me something when you don’t know all the variables that affect that promise?

“[Disch and Kapilovic] haven’t told me that I’m going to start or be All-this or All-that. And I love that about them.”

On Wednesday, Sweet will welcome both coaches, plus Larry Fedora, into his home. More than anything else, the in-home visit is a formality, but the UNC trio will discuss Sweet’s impending enrollment at UNC, including the signing of his Athletic Scholarship Agreement.

“Andre and I, we’re working on some stuff,” Sweet said. “It’s going to be big. We’re actually going to sign together.

“I was thinking about it and since he’s in the same city, we have to take advantage of that. It’s not all set in stone yet, so I don’t want to go too much in-depth.”

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