Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

UNC Among RB Javon Leake's Top Three

The in-state running back is looking to return to UNC before the footballs season.

MATTHEWS, N.C. --- Javon Leake has not waived any member of his final eight schools. However, he admitted that North Carolina resides in the upper tier.

"[UNC] is definitely in the top three," Leake said. "I love North Carolina, I love what they're about. It's always a family atmosphere when I go up there."

Last month, Leake, a 6-foot, 192-pound running back from Greensboro (N.C.) Page, named Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska, UNC, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech as his final eight schools.

Leake has visited UNC so much that's it's difficult for him to put a number on the amount of times he's been on campus. It's also tough for him to recall the last time he's visited Chapel Hill. He was scheduled to attend Fedora's Freak Show, but pulled out at the last moment.

"I ended up going to another camp," Leake said. "I went to the Freak Show my sophomore year, so I knew what that's about."

Before the end of the summer, Leake plans to return to UNC.

In the meantime, Leake has remained in constant contact with Chris Kapilovic, who recruits Greensboro for the Tar Heels.

"He's still on me about the same thing: grades," Leake said. "You can't get anywhere without your grades, so keep that up.

"He's talked to me about being a leader -- leading my team and try to get wins. And he just said, 'Keep grinding.'"

Despite Kapilovic's emphasis on grades, Leake says his academic situation isn't a concern.

"I'm just trying to keep my grades up as high as I can," Leake said.

UNC already has verbal commitments from a pair of running backs -- Michael Carter and Adarius Lemons. Leake says that won't impact UNC's chances.

"Everybody that comes in has to work to get their spot," Leake said. "I don't think [have two RB commitments] bothers me at all. As long as my work ethic is good then I should get the results that I want.

"[The UNC coaches] told me from the gate that they were going to take three running backs and they wanted me to be the first one. But, I haven't committed yet."

It helps that stylistically Leake is different from Carter, an all-purpose 'back, and Lemons, a power 'back.

"I think I'm very versatile, that's the edge I have on them," Leake said. "I have my speed. I can catch. The things I feel the coaches can do with me can only get much better."

As a junior, Leake rushed for 1,858 yards and 25 touchdowns with a 7.7-yard average. He also caught 19 balls for 284 yards and three scores and handled return duties.

Leake's most recent visit was to Maryland late last month. It was his first to College Park.

"I've never been up there, so it was a great visit," Leake said. "The coaching staff is really cool, showed me around the campus, [and] they showed me what Maryland is really about. I like where the program is going."

Leake is now attempting to make inaugural visits to Louisville and Virginia Tech.

Besides Maryland and UNC, Leake has visited NC State and Tennessee.

Before the end of the summer, Leake plans to trim his list of finalists to five schools. Those five will receive official visits and then he'll render a decision.

"I definitely have to take my official visits to schools I haven't seen before, like Nebraska," Leake said. "I'm trying to get out there for my official. The further schools I'm trying to visit."

Inside Carolina Top Stories