As his official visit schedule begins to take shape, Rontavius Groves has agreed on a date with North Carolina.
“I wanted to make it up there for a football game and I’m not going to be able to do that,” Groves said. “But I know for a fact that I’m coming back up for a basketball game. And I know my official date is Jan. 16 – that’s what Coach [Gunter] Brewer wanted it to be. But I’ll be up before that, too.”
Groves, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound wide receiver from Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn, made his lone visit to UNC in July when he was a spectator for a Tar Heels’ camp.
“On my official, I just want to experience the college’s feel,” Groves said. “I want to get a taste for the college as a whole – instead of just the athletic part. I want to see what the school has going on academically and living wise.”
Originally, Groves had an in-season official visit scheduled with West Virginia, but it was postponed to December. He also has an official set with Illinois for Dec. 4 and is working on a date with Vanderbilt.
Groves was hoping to make a verbal commitment in December. But, his decision has been delayed to accommodate an official visit schedule that will extend into January.
Although he hasn’t ruled out any newcomers, Groves’s focus is Illinois, UNC, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia.
“They’re all about even as of now,” Groves said. “I just want to get on campus again with all those schools and see what I like. I have this checklist of things that I want to see. Whichever one fits my check list the most that’s going to be my decision.”
That check list includes how players are treated, academics, atmosphere, playing time, and relationship with coaches.
You can place a checkmark next to "relationship with coaches" for UNC. Groves says he and Brewer, who coaches the Tar Heels’ wide receivers, speak almost daily.
“He just talks about how he can use me in the offense,” Groves said. “We’re always trying to build our relationship. So, we talk about stuff outside of football.”
As far as the football stuff is concerned, Brewer sees Groves fitting in nicely at the A-back position.
After a hamstring injury kept him out of three early season games, an ankle sprain has Groves playing at 90-percent for Pearl-Cohn, which hosts Memphis East in the semifinals of the TSSAA Division I Class 4A playoffs on Friday. Still, he’s leading then team in all-purpose yards (1,261) and receiving (53 catches for 1,005 yards and 13 touchdowns).