When he verbally committed to North Carolina in early December, Rontavius Groves hadn’t decided the fate of official visits scheduled to Illinois and Vanderbilt. A decision has since been made.
“I’m done with the process,” Groves said. “It was a thought right after committing. My dad and I talked about it. It just put thoughts in my mind, ‘Why officially visit [other schools] when [UNC] is my home?’”
With that said, Groves took his lone official visit last weekend. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound wide receiver from Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn returned “home” to UNC.
“I felt at home,” Groves said. “I felt comfortable around the players and the coaches. I felt I could be myself. The atmosphere was great, the campus was great – everything felt as I thought it would.”
The visit was Groves's first since committing to UNC and first since a July trip.
“Once I got that Tar Heel tag on me, everyone showed love,” Groves said. “It was a big difference from the summer. It was a whole different attitude.”
A major contributor to the positivity was Gunter Brewer, Groves’s primary recruiter and future position coach.
“[Brewer and I] have like a family type bond,” Groves said. “So we talk about stuff outside of football.
“But football wise, he just showed me the routine they go through each practice, how hard it’s going to be to take someone’s spot, he showed me the foundation of the plays. We also talked about where I fit into the offense. We talked about punt return, kick return after Ryan [Switzer] leaves.”
Brewer plans to insert Groves into the A-back depth chart.
A fellow wide receiver – Josh Cabrera – served as Groves’s player host.
“Josh is a cool cat,” Groves said. “I felt like him and I could be real close when I get up there. He’s a very down to earth kid.
“There wasn’t too much that he could show me that I hadn’t already seen. He was just telling me, ‘What you’re getting now is what you’re going to get when you get here.' Like with the coaches, the way they’re acting now is the way they’re going to act when I get there. He was just telling me things like about how with academics I’m going to have full support from different varieties of people. So, it’s going to be more difficult to fail than it is to succeed. He was breaking it down for me.”
On Saturday, Groves attended his first UNC basketball game – a victory over archrival NC State.
“It was live, man,” Groves said. “It was pretty nice. I’ve never been at a game where everybody is all into the game. It was amazing. I hope that football can get like that if it isn’t already.”
Before ending his stay on Sunday, Groves met with Larry Fedora.
“He’s a great guy,” Groves said. “He’s going to treat every football player like it’s his son. He said that’s a good and bad thing, because every father doesn’t treat his son like royalty. He’s going to praise me when I do well and it’s going to get (after me) when I do (poorly).”