Considering he remains committed to Virginia Tech, North Carolina has positioned itself as well as could be expected with Divine Deablo following this past weekend’s official visit.
“I really like Carolina – I’ll tell you that,” Deablo said. “Between them and Virginia Tech, I’d say it’s about 50-50.”
Though Deablo has not formally backed out of his nearly four-month commitment to Virginia Tech, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound wide receiver from Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor plans to make a final decision after officially visiting NC State the weekend of Nov. 28.
“I guess I’ve opened my recruitment back up again,” Deablo said. “I plan on making the final decision by December between the three schools.”
The three finalists are obviously UNC, NC State, and Virginia Tech. Deablo needs to have a decision made within a month’s time in order to have things in place for his January enrollment.
Deablo, who officially visited Virginia Tech in October, will return to Blacksburg this weekend unofficially when the Hokies host UNC for Frank Beamer’s final game in Lane Stadium.
Earlier this month, Frank Beamer announced that he’d retire following the 2015 season. That caused Deablo to schedule official visits with UNC and NC State.
“They have no clue [who will replace Beamer],” Deablo said. “No one knows, besides maybe the AD.
“The thing is I’m scared that they won’t find a new coach until after the season and I would already be there. So I have to determine if I want to take that risk or not.
“It’s very difficult. It seems like something always happens when I’m feeling a school. I guess I should be used to it, but it’s still stressful.”
Deablo’s UNC official visit over the weekend was his first trip to the school since pledging to Virginia Tech.
“It went great,” Deablo said. “I enjoyed myself. I had fun.”
Although it’s been a while since he has stepped foot in Chapel Hill, Deablo has made numerous visits to UNC. None of those, however, included as much interaction with Tar Heel players as this past weekend’s. He spent the most time with red-shirt freshmen Devin Perry and Caleb Samuel.
“We talked about college life for the most part,” Deablo said. “We talked about time management and stuff like that. And they showed me their dorm rooms, the Pit, and different places people go to eat.”
Since Mount Tabor failed to qualify for the playoffs, Deablo began his official visit on Friday evening. That night, and then again Sunday morning, he met with Larry Fedora.
“He was just talking about how their offense is explosive and if I want the ball then Carolina is the place to be,” Deablo said.
Deablo witnessed the explosiveness Fedora spoke of on Saturday afternoon as UNC nearly put 60 points on Miami en route to its ninth consecutive victory.
“I’ll fit in the offense pretty well,” Deablo said. “They said their favorite route is the go route, so I can relate.”
In addition to the offense’s explosiveness, Deablo, who has attended three UNC games previously, felt a much different atmosphere within Kenan Stadium.
“It has changed a lot,” Deablo said. “There are a lot more fans there now.”
Throughout much of his stay, Deablo was shadowed by Gunter Brewer, UNC’s wide receivers coach who has taken a prominent role within Deablo’s recruitment.
“Brewer is the type of dude that would still be your friend even if you went to a different school,” Deablo said. “That’s why I like him so much. He won’t just be your coach – he’ll also be your friend.”
Deablo felt the same way prior to committing to Virginia Tech in late July. Brewer proceeded to prove those feelings correct in the months that followed as there has been no lapse in their relationship, despite Deablo committing to a Coastal Division rival.
“That means a lot, that means a lot,” Deablo said. “Which is making me put more thought into UNC as I try to figure out what I’m going to do.”