CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Although he’s entertaining visits elsewhere, North Carolina pledge Ryan Jones says the chances of him not signing with UNC are “very slim.”
“You’d have to wow me with something extreme for that to happen,” the 6-foot-2, 219-pounder said. “I don’t see that happening.”
As far back as the four-star receiver from Mallard Creek High can remember, it’s been Jones’s dream to suit up in Carolina Blue.
“It’s a great school,” Jones said. “It’s basically like my home, because I’ve been visiting there since like the second grade. That’s where I’ve planned on playing since the second grade. I don’t really see that changing at all.”
Although nothing is set, Tennessee is a potential visit destination.
“It’s not for sure yet,” Jones said. “But, there’s a possibility that I could be visiting. But, it wouldn’t be anything but a visit – it’s nothing significant than that. I’m not planning on changing [my commitment] or anything based on a visit.
“The visit will be for fun to see some of my former teammates and people I’ve worked out with.”
Jones also aspires to take all five of his official visits. He says he’s not “keeping his options open.” Instead, he’s looking into backup plans.
“Coaches, regardless, are going to have to [keep] recruiting [other receivers],” Jones said. “I’m just doing the same thing they’re doing. They’re doing it in case something happens and so am I.”
Jones, who made a couple visits to Chapel Hill this offseason, plans to return to UNC this summer. Such a trip would have to take place before June 13. Beginning on that date, Mallard Creek head coach Mike Palmieri has mandated a recruiting visit blackout.
“It’s going to be all about Mallard Creek football from [June 13] on,” Jones said.
Mallard Creek is going for its fourth consecutive NCHSAA 4AA State Championship this season.
Since committing in February, Jones says his relationship with Gunter Brewer, UNC’s wide receivers coach and Charlotte area recruiter, has only grown.
“It’s the same type of relationship,” Jones said. “We talk basically just about every day. He’s honest with me about everything.
“He tells me what I need to work on. I ask him how I can work on things and he tells me.”
Since his freshman year, Jones has strived towards enrolling in college early. He’s on track to graduate from Mallard Creek in December.