CLIFTON, Va. --- Jonathan Sutherland is scheduled to visit Boston College next week. Beyond that, the 6-foot, 196-pound cornerback plans to return to North Carolina, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech.
“I would say those [four schools] are sticking out,” the Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal product said. “I don’t have leaders right now; I’m still pretty open. I’m just going to keep taking my visits and gaining more information as I go.
“With [the aforementioned schools], I would just say the relationships I have with the coaches. We have great relationships and we talk on a weekly basis.”
Specifically, with UNC Sutherland speaks with Charlton Warren, who coaches its defensive backs.
“He just wants me to come visit,” Sutherland said. “He just wants me to come spend as much time as I can there, because he does believe that I’m a good fit there.”
While Sutherland says a UNC return is in his future, he’s unsure when such a visit will take place.
Two dozen schools have offered Sutherland. In late May/early June, he plans to begin assembling an official finalists list made up of five to seven schools. His goal is to make a commitment by the end of the summer.
Sutherland made his inaugural UNC visit just before Signing Day. He attended the Tar Heels’ first junior day of the cycle.
“We got to stay overnight and spent a lot of time with the players and coaches,” Sutherland said. “So, we got to see what the overall atmosphere was like at UNC and it was really good. We got a whole tour of the campus and facilities and whatnot; and it had a lot to offer.”
The experience included a basketball game against Boston College.
“It was crazy, it was loud,” Sutherland said. “The fans really get into it. The whole environment is pretty wild.”
Also while on campus, Sutherland met with Larry Fedora.
“We just spoke about the school,” Sutherland said. “He told me what the school has to offer. I told him what I’m looking for in a school [and] what I plan on taking in college for my degree. He told me to get back down there as soon as possible.”
A couple of weeks prior to his Chapel Hill trip, Patrice Rene, Sutherland’s former defensive back mate, completed a commitment switch from Rutgers to UNC. He went on to sign with the Tar Heels as part of the 2016 class.
“It would be great to play with Patrice again, because I’ve been playing with him basically my whole life,” Sutherland said. “But when it comes to making a decision, I’ve got to do what’s best for me. And he understands that.”
Like Rene, Sutherland moved from Canada to enroll in Episcopal a year ago. The two lived in the same neighborhood in Ottawa.
“[Rene] has been through the process,” Sutherland said. “So, he gives me advice. He understands that I’m going to do what’s best for me and he just guides me through the whole way.”