Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

Third Time's the Charm for Va. Lineman

UNC is among the six schools that Mekhi Becton is favoring.

HIGHLAND SPRINGS, Va. --- At the request of the coaching staff, Mekhi Becton made his third visit to North Carolina during his spring break. The trip resulted in a scholarship offer.

“They just wanted me to get [back] on campus,” Becton said. “Once I got on campus, that’s when they offered me. Coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic], he said he wanted to ask me a few questions and see if I had the right response for the offer. He asked me what was my favorite play, what type of blocking do I like to do, and he asked me what I had to work on.”

Eighteen schools have offered Becton, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive lineman from Highland Springs (Va.) High. Highlighting that group are Cincinnati, Iowa State, Maryland, Michigan State, Missouri, UNC, NC State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“[The UNC offer] meant a lot,” Becton said. “I feel truly blessed. I’ve been waiting for it for a while, because it’s a good academic school and I really want to go to a good academic school. 

“[The offer] actually brings [UNC] up a little bit. Because at first, they weren’t contacting me. And now they’re contacting me a lot. They tell me that I could have a chance to play.”

"Up" means inclusion in Becton’s favorite schools list. UNC joins Maryland, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Wake Forest on the list. He has visited all six, with the exception of the Spartans.

“Michigan State, they have a great facility and they’re definitely a good program,” Becton said. “Pittsburgh, they have the No. 2 sports medicine major in the country and I really like that a lot. And North Carolina, they’re definitely a program to be winning a national championship one day. UVa, they’re a program on the rise with the new coaching staff. And Wake Forest, they have some new recruits coming in, so they should be real good, too.”

Last summer, Becton took his first visit to UNC when he attended a Tar Heels’ camp. He later returned to campus for the drubbing of Wake Forest.

If he doesn’t attend the Nike Opening Regional in Charlotte this weekend, Becton will return to Virginia for its spring game.

This summer, Becton is eyeing trips to Baylor and Michigan State. He also plans to return to his other favorite schools, including UNC.

Becton plans to make a commitment during his senior season, after taking his official visits.

Last season, Becton became Highland Springs High’s starting right tackle. He’ll switch to the left side for his senior season.

“I think of aggressive, when I think of Mekhi” Highland Springs head coach Loren Johnson said. “Everything with offensive linemen is first punch. His first punch is really aggressive; he takes pride in that. 

“And then he’s worked on his feet for a long period of time playing AAU basketball. He’s quick-footed – he’s not fast-footed. 

“He takes pride in his craft, so he continuously works on it and is trying to improve on it. And the upside about it is he has time to do so.”

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