Although Ohio falls outside of North Carolina's typical recruiting footprint, the Tar Heels' offense is quarterbacked by Buckeye native Mitch Trubisky. That distinction will help UNC with one of its top 2018 quarterback targets, Brennan Armstrong.
"Actually, when I visited I got to eat with Mitch and all those guys," Armstrong said. "I got to talk to him about his experiences and how his family gets down to see him at North Carolina and how much he sees his family -- it was just an Ohio kid's standpoint going to North Carolina. That was actually pretty cool to talk to him about that and how he went through high school and how his process went. It was pretty neat to be with him."
Nothing can diminish the distance between Chapel Hill and Shelby (Ohio). But, having Trubisky as a resource lessens the blow.
"Actually, it will help my parents a lot," Armstrong said. "My parents were with me and having Mitch there and him telling them how everything went it really made my parents feel like that's a great place for me, as well."
Armstrong spent a June weekend in Chapel Hill to attend the Carolina Elite Quarterback Academy. A day prior to that camp, the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder had the aforementioned lunch with Trubisky. Besides the lunch, the day was used to tour Armstrong around campus and introduce him to the Tar Heels' staff.
"I basically got to check out everything they had to offer," Armstrong said. "They toured me around certain [academic] subject areas where I'd probably go for class, like the business area."
It was fortunate that Armstrong got the touring and introductions out of the way the day before, because the Carolina Elite Quarterback Academy completely consumed that Sunday.
"It was a lot different compared to what I'm used to," Armstrong said. "I went from basically 9 in the morning to 9 at night. Normally when you go to camp, you stay outside, but this had classroom work. All that put together is really unique. I feel like I came out as a better quarterback."
When he returned home the following Monday, Armstrong was instructed by his head coach to call Keith Heckendorf, UNC's quarterbacks coach. During that conversation, Heckendorf offered Armstrong a scholarship.
"That's another big offer for me," Armstrong said. "That makes me open up my options even more compared to what I [had]. At the time, I think I only had four offers and UNC made it five. It opened up my eyes a lot because of how much I loved the place."
Armstrong now sits with six offers. Kent State, Iowa State, Ohio, Toledo, and Virginia round out his offer list.
Of his offers, Armstrong has visited Toledo, Virginia, and obviously UNC. He aspires to visit Iowa State and Rutgers, which has shown significant interest, as soon as possible.
A trio of programs have surged to the top for Armstrong.
"For sure Iowa State, North Carolina, and Virginia -- those are the top three schools right now," Armstrong said. "North Carolina and Virginia are both great places. They have so much in common and there's so much greatness around those schools."
Armstrong hasn't identified an exact commitment timeframe, but says he'll "for sure" be committed before his senior year. He's looking at a spring/summer decision.
Since visiting UNC, Armstrong has had weekly conversations with Heckendorf.
"He always answers the phone and says, 'What's up big guy,'" Armstrong said. "He loves me and he likes what my skills are and how I handle the position of being a quarterback."
Armstrong would like to attend a UNC game this fall, but hasn't explored its feasibility. Obviously, Chapel Hill's distance coupled with his high school season makes such a visit difficult.
With Armstrong under center, Shelby is 2-0. On the year, he has completed 18 of 35 passes for 210 yards with three touchdowns. He also has rushed for over 200 yards and four scores.