Long Snapper Narrows Focus

North Carolina wants a long snapper in its 2016 recruiting class and should know soon if top target Ben Wyatt will fill that spot.

Ben Wyatt, the nation’s sixth best long snapper, has gained a better grasp of his recruitment.

“I’m really just focusing on Duke, UNC, and Stanford,” Wyatt said. “I’ve been in contact with Stanford a lot, but I probably won’t know for sure about them until a little bit later. So I’m really focusing on Duke and UNC right now.”

Besides West Virginia, UNC is the only school to have offered Wyatt, a 6-foot-1, 236-pounder from Concord (N.C.) Cannon School, a scholarship.

Duke has presented Wyatt with a preferred walk-on opportunity.

As for Stanford, the Cardinal is waiting for Wyatt to improve his ACT score. If/when that happens, Stanford will offer either a preferred walk-on spot or scholarship. The next ACT testing is Sept. 12.

“With that in mind, I’m focusing on Duke and UNC right now to figure out which one I really want to go to,” Wyatt said.

Originally, Wyatt had hoped to make his collegiate decision by the end of the summer.

“I want to make a decision as soon as I can,” Wyatt said. “Visiting Duke will really help with that, because I’ve met the coaches and been in contact with them, but it was all at the camp. So I think seeing the campus, talking with the players and the coaches will really help me.”

Wyatt is scheduled to visit Duke on July 23.

“I’ve been to Duke for a basketball game, but I’ve never gone on a football visit,” Wyatt said. “I want to meet the coaches, meet the players, and see the campus life.

“I think that will help me with knowing where I want to go.”

After leaving Duke, Wyatt will head down US Route 15-501 for his fourth visit to UNC in two months.

“I just talked to Coach [Jonathan] Rutledge [on Sunday] about it,” Wyatt said. “He said that Coach [Larry] Fedora wants to visit with me and wants to talk with me.

“I also look forward to talking with some more players about their experience.”

During his first two UNC visits – including the camp performance that not only earned him high praise from Rutledge, UNC’s special teams graduate assistant, but the Tar Heel offer -- Wyatt was accompanied by his father. He returned to Chapel Hill a third time just before the summer Dead Period with his mother, brother, and sister.

“[My family] was really impressed by everything,” Wyatt said. “It’s a great community to be around. They’ve never really seen the facilities of a D-I place, so I think it was awesome for them to see it and experience it with me.

“They liked the coaches. When we went, Coach Fedora was out of town, so we didn’t get a chance to speak with him. But we got a chance to speak with Coach [Chris Kapilovic] and Coach [Larry] Porter, which was great. Academics are a huge part for me. I got to meet with the head of the applied sciences, which was nice.”

Wyatt falls within Kapilovic’s in-state territory, while Porter coordinates UNC’s special teams.

“We were talking about really everything,” Wyatt said. “We were kind of talking about the community, the camaraderie, the players, how they coach the special teams, and that type of stuff.”

Rutledge served as the tour guide for Wyatt and his family.

“We just talked about what it’s like to be a football player at North Carolina and what comes with it, and why it’s such a great place,” Wyatt said.

“He’s been great with handling me. I’ve been in constant contact with him through [Twitter] direct messaging or the phone.”

Wyatt says he doesn’t have a leader. However, he does have ties to both Duke (his father graduated from its law school) and Stanford (his brother is a student).

“My dad has given me opportunities, but he’s not really swaying me one way or another,” Wyatt said. “Obviously, he’s a big Duke fan, but he’s letting me make the decision on my own. He’s not telling me I have to go to Duke or I can’t go to UNC – it’s ultimately my decision.

“Having a brother at Stanford is a great thing, but it’s not really a deciding factor for me. If you go to the same college as your brother, you may see him or you may not.”

(Photo courtesy RubioLongSnapping.com)

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