CLIFTON, Va. --- Tariq Castro-Fields received a text message from his head coach, Caesar Nettles, last month. The message said that Nettles had just hung up with coaches from North Carolina and they had offered a scholarship.
Castro-Fields, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound defensive back from Upper Marlboro (Md.) Riverdale Baptist, had already collected offers from Maryland, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, and West Virginia.
Since receiving the UNC offer, Castro-Fields has maintained weekly communication with Charlton Warren, UNC’s defensive backs coach.
“He’s just telling me how I can come in and be a big corner in their defense,” Castro-Fields said. “He was telling me that they have other players from the DMV, like Myles Wolfolk, so they can take care of me. I wouldn’t be the only person from this area there.”
Sharing a secondary with Penn State signee Zechariah McPhearson and Marshall signee Sir Patrick Scott, Castro-Field was relegated to safety for much of the 2015 season. With those two off to college, Castro-Fields will play cornerback, his preferred position, this season.
While playing cornerback during the D.C. Nike Opening Regional, Castro-Fields earned the DB MVP.
“It meant a lot,” Castro-Fields said. “I’ve been dreaming about this for a while. I give all the glory to God. I knew that I was putting my best foot forward and then I just left it up to God.”
Castro-Fields plans to make his first visit to UNC over the summer. Nothing has been set, but Fedora’s Freak Show is under consideration. He has family in N.C. (just outside of Chapel Hill) and may end up dropping by UNC while visiting with them.
Thus far, Castro-Fields has taken visits to Maryland, Penn State, and Syracuse. In addition to UNC, he plans to visit Pitt, Rutgers, Temple, and West Virginia this summer, and also return to Maryland, PSU, and Syracuse.
With the lack of a visit, all Castro-Fields knows about UNC is what he’s seen on television.
“I watched a couple of games last year,” Castro-Fields said. “They let their DBs be physical. They really play towards their DBs skill-wise – say there’s a press man DB, they press them. It’s just a very player-oriented defense.”
Castro-Fields remains open to every school, but admitted that Maryland, UNC, Penn State, Pitt, and Syracuse are sticking out.
“Besides North Carolina, I got to visit the school and see it,” Castro-Fields said. “I talk to the coaches [at those schools] all the time; I have a good rapport with all the coaches.”