CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Five-star safety Devon Hunter was scheduled to return to North Carolina a few weeks ago for the Tar Heels’ spring game.
“I was supposed to go there, but it didn’t work out that way,” Hunter said. “So hopefully, I get to plan another visit down there sometime soon. They aren’t too far, so I can hit them up a lot.”
Hunter, a 6-foot-1, 204-pounder from Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River, has previously attended a UNC football game as well as a February junior day. The junior day was an exclusive event that was held in conjunction with the basketball game against Duke.
Hunter’s third visit (i.e. the make-up) could occur at any moment. It could even be as simple as stopping by UNC on his way to another school.
When he returns, though, Hunter’s goal is to build upon his relationships around the program and see more of the football side o UNC.
“I just want to get a better relationship with the head coach and the coaches around there,” Hunter said. “And [I want to get a better relationship with] the players to see how their lifestyle is. I really haven’t been around the environment with [the players]. I wanted to see them practice, too – I haven’t seen them practice at all. I just want to see the football side. I’ve seen the academic side and the fans, I just want to see the football side.”
In the meantime, UNC has deployed a three-coach charge to recruit Hunter. That group consists of defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, area recruiter Larry Porter, and defensive backs coach Charlton Warren. The trio maintains regular contact with Hunter.
“They said I’m a dynamic football player, I can make it happen on the field, and they want me bad,” Hunter said. “So they’ll do whatever it takes to get me. If a team is willing to do all that for me, then I’ve got to do something for them.”
UNC is one of five schools Hunter has visited this offseason; Alabama, Florida, Maryland, and Virginia Tech are the others. He hopes to also visit Auburn, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State within the next few months.
All these visit experiences are helping Hunter narrow his list of 40 scholarship offers to a more manageable number.
“[Narrowing] is getting a little easier, because going on these visits I can see what schools I don’t need to worry about or I’m not focused on,” Hunter said. “I’m just trying to take as many visits as possible – it could be a school that I know I’m not going to but I’m still going to check them out to see what they have to offer me and maybe it would be worth going there.”
UNC is a great example of a school Hunter gave a chance to who prevailed over perceptions.
“People think of [UNC] as a basketball school,” Hunter said. “I don’t think about them like that. I feel like I can make an impact instantly.”
Hunter plans to have his finalist list completed before the kick off of the football season. Ten to seven schools will make up that list.
“It’s a possible four that will make it so far: Florida, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and I would say UNC,” Hunter said.
Once he establishes his finalists, Hunter will revisit each school before rendering a decision.
“I’m trying to commit before everything gets too crazy,” Hunter said. “Hopefully, it will be before Christmas time. It will be an early Christmas gift, because once I’m committed, I’m committed. I’m not one of those de-committing guys.”