CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Although North Carolina isn’t one of the schools to have offered, the Tar Heels have been in constant contact with Drake Deluliis, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound tight end from Providence High.
“Drake is probably going to play tight end in college – he certainly has the frame for it,” Providence assistant coach Jonathan Castator said. “He played out of position last year at quarterback. He has a presence when he walks into a room, because he’s 6-6. He’s a real humble kid and hardworking. He has great upside and potential as a receiving tight end.”
For his sophomore season, Deluliis was promoted to varsity fulltime where he played wide receiver. He ended that season with approximately 800 yards and 14 touchdowns in receptions.
This past season, Providence moved to a triple-option offense and converted Deluliis to quarterback. There, he amassed 1,200 all-purpose yards.
“Drake is the ultimate team guy,” Castator said. “He was asked to play quarterback, because we knew that Drake was our best offensive weapon and best athlete. We put him at quarterback and he never complained. He was a leader.”
Providence is looking to install a spread offense – its third change in as many years – for the 2016 season. The plan is to have Deluliis start at tight end and defensive end.
Four schools have offered Deluliis: Boston College, Duke, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
North Carolina is among the schools that have yet to offer, but have expressed a strong interest in Deluliis. He’s been in regular contact with Gunter Brewer, who recruits Charlotte for UNC.
“He hasn’t said anything substantial yet,” Deluliis said. “He just said that he wants to get to know me and my family. He wants to get me up there to meet the coaches.”
Along those lines, Deluliis accepted Brewer’s invitation to the UNC-Duke football game in November.
“Nothing really came from that,” Deluliis said. “I think I’ll have to come to camp.”
UNC, like most schools, is recruiting Deluliis as a tight end. Thus, some of the uncertainty stems from the once unsettled tight end coach position. The Tar Heels were without a tight end coach since early December until Chad Scott was hired in late January.
Although he didn’t receive clarity on the scholarship situation, Deluliis still enjoyed his time in Chapel Hill during UNC’s 66-31 victory over Duke.
“It was awesome,” Deluliis said. “The facilities are beautiful, the fans are really good, and it was a good rivalry.”
Deluliis has also visited Duke, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. He’s looking to visit East Carolina, Georgia, and NC State the next few months, and plans to return to Duke for the basketball game against UNC in early March.
Deluliis isn't favoring any schools.
“It’s an even playing field,” Deluliis said. “Every school I’ve talked to I’ve really enjoyed. The coaching staffs at all of them are phenomenal. Every school has a chance.”
Deluliis’s father, Frank, played football at Clemson (1985-88), as did his grandfather. Due to those ties, he grew up a Tigers fan… Deluliis is also close with UNC wide receiver Austin Proehl, who played at Providence… Deluliis is also a member of Providence’s basketball team.