WOODBRIDGE, Va. --- While 30 schools are fighting for a spot on Kyree Campbell’s top ten schools list, North Carolina, a long-time resident of the list, continues to build upon its standing with the blue chip defensive tackle.
Campbell, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive tackle, says that he communicates with his UNC area recruiter, John Papuchis, on a daily basis, Larry Fedora weekly, and defensive line coach Tray Scott a couple times a week. His contact with Scott, the newest addition to the Tar Heels’ staff, is most critical.
“The relationship [with Scott] is going great,” Campbell said. “He’s a good dude. He says I’m a high priority and he’s showing that to me. I feel like I have to have that great connection with my D-line coach, because once in a while I’ll be seeing the head coach [but] the D-line coach will be my dad in college. So I have to have a relationship with him.”
In an effort to further build on that relationship, Campbell is in the process of scheduling a visit to UNC for early/mid-May. The visit will be his first face-to-face interaction with Scott.
“From what we have talked about, he is cool,” Campbell said. “He sounds like a fun dude to be around. He sounds like a great coach.”
The May visit will also be Campbell’s mother’s first in-depth look at UNC. She did accompany Campbell to the UNC-Georgia Tech game last fall, but she wasn’t able to spend a great deal of time with the Tar Heels’ staff or receive a comprehensive look at the school.
“Having her comfortable with the situation is a big part of my decision,” Campbell said. “She’s a big part of my decision, as well. It’s only three and a half hours away, but I want to have her input on it, as well as my coaches’ input so that I can make the best decision.”
UNC has already made a positive impression on Gary Wortham, who coached Campbell at Woodbridge (Va.) Freedom the past couple of seasons and will continue to coach him this coming season at Woodbridge.
“To sum up, everything that they’re doing has been professional,” Wortham said. “They’re doing all the things the right way – they’re following all the guidelines. They’re just doing a good job of [recruiting Campbell]. There are others that are doing a good job, too, but just to speak on the Carolina staff Coach Fedora has some good men with him. They’re doing a fantastic job communicating. There are some schools where I haven’t had an opportunity to speak to the head coach, but every chance that Coach Fedora gets the time he gives me a call, he checks in. Steve Spurrier does the same thing.”
Before visiting UNC, Campbell will travel to Virginia Tech. He’s also working on summer trips to Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Ohio State, Penn State, and Tennessee.
Outside of a pair of UNC visits, Campbell has visited Maryland and Virginia thus far this offseason.
These visits will play a major role in helping determine which schools will and won’t make Campbell’s cut to ten. UNC, Ohio State, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech have already earned a spot on the list.
Campbell estimates that he’ll have his top ten finalized in a month.
“I have a few more schools I need to visit before I put them in that group and set up my ten,” Campbell said. “What I do is I take away football and friends from that school and I see would I still want to go.”
In addition to his mother’s input, Campbell will weigh location.
“My grandmom is a big part of my life and she’s getting old and she can’t really move like she wants,” Campbell said. “She lives in Dumfries.”
Last but not least, Campbell will also strongly consider each school’s academics. He plans to major in business or sports marketing.
“I want a world class education,” Campbell said. “I want a life after football, basically, and a place that’s going to give me that.”
Shortly after winnowing his list to ten, Campbell will cut it in half by the end of the summer. He’ll then announce his collegiate decision on Oct. 29, the week of the Woodbridge-Freedom rivalry game.
“It’s kind of like a homecoming with Kyree going back to Freedom to play,” Wortham said.
UNC projects Campbell to play three-technique within its newly installed 4-3 scheme.
“Basically, they want me blowing stuff up and they want me stopping the run.”
From experience, Wortham believes that’s Campbell best positional fit.
“If you’ve watched his film from this last season, his ability to play the three-technique is pretty much where we’ve found his home for the next level and probably the level beyond that,” Campbell said. “When we first got him, he was a defensive end for us and he was very good off the edge… And then he put on weight fast and then cut it back during camp. Now, he has gradually put it on the right way – he’s eating well, working out. He’s a force in the trenches.”
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