Since North Carolina is unlikely to sign a quarterback within the 2017 class, much of the focus at the position is on the 2018 crop. One of its top ’18 targets, Artur Sitkowski, visited Chapel Hill this past week.
“[UNC] is really up there,” Sitkowski said. “They’re in my top four or five – and maybe even three. They’re really high on my list of schools.
“The biggest thing is their academics and football. You can’t go to any other school and get world-class academics and also world-class football. You’ll have a chance to compete for a national title and get the national spotlight.”
UNC is one of 14 schools to have offered Sitkowski, a 6-foot-5, 208-pounder from Old Bridge (N.J.). Boston College, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin are some of the others.
In about a year – shortly after the Spring Evaluation Period – Sitkowski plans to make a verbal commitment. He’ll announce a list of finalists before the 2016 season begins.
The primary purpose of Sitkowski’s visit this past weekend was Sunday’s Carolina Elite Quarterback Academy. Unlike most of that camp’s attendees, Sitkowski arrived a day earlier.
On Saturday, Sitkowski and his family arrived on campus at about 10 a.m. Before departing at 8 p.m., they toured the campus, hung out with current players, and met with professors.
“I was just getting a better feel for the university,” Sitkowski said. “It was a great day Saturday – I loved it. The first thing I noticed about it was it was a family atmosphere – that’s a huge thing. So, I really loved it.”
Also on Saturday, Sitkowski met twice with Keith Heckendorf, UNC’s quarterbacks coach.
“He just talked about the offensive system, how he teaches, what he looks for in a quarterback, [and] how I could fit into their system really well,” Sitkowski said. “He told me, if I come there and compete every single day, work my ass off in the weight room, [and] work my butt off in the film room, then I can be a starter at the university and potentially make all my dreams come true at the University of North Carolina.”
Throughout Sunday – from about 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. – Sitkowski was coached by Heckendorf on the field and in the classroom.
“I loved it,” Sitkowski said. “The big thing about him is how he focused on how you can get better personally and mentally at the game. He wants you to be mentally tough.
“But also, he stresses footwork and other things that will make me a better player.”
While the rest of the campers ate lunch in a cafeteria, Sitkowski dined in Larry Fedora’s office. That way, the two could speak without interfering with camp activitives.
“He told me to enjoy the rest of my high school career, because college is going to be here so fast,” Sitkowski said. “So, he told me to make sure to enjoy it, have fun with my friends, but also work hard in the classroom and on the football field.”
Last weekend, Sitkowski visited South Carolina.
Sitkowski is scheduled to visit Ohio State on Friday and Michigan on Saturday. The following weekend, he’ll travel to Rutgers on Saturday followed by Boston College on Sunday. He’s in the process on working on a trip to Florida in July.