UNC Football Class of 2016 Signee: WR Rontavius Groves

Inside Carolina takes a closer look at the Tar Heel signee.

BIO: Nickname is “Toe” • Earned all-state, all-mid state, all-region and all-metro honors • PrepStar All-Southeast Region • Posted 59 receptions for 1,067 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior • Also rushed 20 times for 127 yards and a touchdown • Made 38 tackles (26 solo) and had two interceptions • Returned seven kickoffs for 112 yards and returned two punts for 45 yards

LEAD UNC RECRUITER: Gunter Brewer

RECRUITMENT: After a July visit to Chapel Hill – where a minor injury forced him to be just a spectator for a camp session – UNC cemented itself as a legitimate contender for Groves. Illinois, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia eventually joined UNC as Groves’s favorites. He had planned to take his official visits before deciding, but as Pearl-Cohn made a push for a championship Groves decided to commit after the title game. Despite the loss in the championship game, he honored those plans and announced his UNC commitment.

WHY CAROLINA: “Me and the coaches have a great relationship. They have a great relationship with my family and friends. And I talk to them on a consistent basis. It’s not a crazy far distance from home. And it’s a great opportunity to get on the field early – even as a freshman. And I feel I can get a great education at that school. I just felt like North Carolina was the best place for me – I didn’t want to lose that opportunity.”

EVALUATION: Although a wide receiver by trade, Groves is an all-purpose producer – he’s capable of accumulating yards and/or scoring touchdowns on deep balls, short passes, in the return game, and as a rusher. Therefore, he’s perfect for the A-back position within UNC’s spread offense. He has outstanding lateral agility and stop-and-start quickness, which comes in handy when running routes or navigating through the open field.

HS COACH QUOTES: “Rontavius has grown a lot over the last four years. He’s fought and worked hard to achieve his goals academically, spiritually and on the football field. He competes at the highest level in practice and in the game. He’s a big-time playmaker. They always say you need big-time players in big games – he makes those plays. He has great integrity that will help the North Carolina program go to the next level, and I think he’ll have a chance to make some big plays as a freshmen. He can play every position on the field, even quarterback; he can throw. The first three games of the year we knew he had a pulled hamstring real bad. Most kids in that situation, they wouldn’t sacrifice a scholarship or getting hurt. He practiced the weeks leading up to the games and gave his all in every game to the point that he couldn’t walk anymore.” — Tony Brunetti, Pearl-Cohn HS

INSIDE THE COMMITMENT: Feeling the love from UNC (i.e. Brewer) while enjoying Pearl-Cohn's title run, Groves dreamed up a storybook commitment. In late November, he phoned Brewer and let him in on the dream… Read the full subscriber-only report


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