In a short period of time, William Barnes, a four-star 2018 prospect, has built a strong bond with North Carolina assistant coach Chad Scott.
"We have a really great relationship," the 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive tackle from Apopka (Fla.) said. "Every morning, I shoot him a little text [message] and he sends me a text back. We just make sure we stay in contact with each other. He's a great person to talk to."
That relationship has helped UNC -- along with four other programs -- rise above Barnes's pool of 14 scholarship offers.
"Definitely North Carolina is sticking out to me a lot," Barnes said. "And Clemson, Auburn, and Florida are definitely sticking out. Oh, and Miami is definitely sticking out to me.
"I like the people I've talked to and of course the campuses are beautiful. The areas that those schools are in are great."
Barnes has visited all five of the aforementioned schools, plus Alabama and Georgia. The majority of those visits were stops during a summer bus tour.
UNC was one such stop. The Tar Heels were holding a camp that day, but Barnes was simply a spectator.
"Watching the camp, it was really exciting for me," Barnes said. "I was seeing all the stuff they were doing out there. It looked pretty fun. It looked like a great place to be at."
Following the campus, Barnes sat down with Chris Kapilovic, UNC's offensive line coach.
"He was just telling me that he just loved my work ethic and how I did things," Barnes said. "I, personally, liked him a lot. [I liked] the way he coaches, too, when I saw him in the camp."
Barnes says he's projected by Kap to play left tackle. For Apopka, he starts at left tackle, but will move up and down the line -- with the exception of center -- throughout a game depending on the play call and formation.
"Any position [Kapilovic] wants me, I can play it," Barnes said.
In addition to Kapilovic, Barnes met with Larry Fedora.
"I also enjoyed talking to him too," Barnes said. "He said a lot of the same things that Coach Kap said.
"I talked to [Fedora] a few nights ago and he was telling me he'd like to get me up there to see more of the campus and see a game."
During his June stay, Barnes's campus exposure was limited to a quick facility tour.
If he has his way, Barnes's UNC return will occur sooner rather than later.
"It will be soon," Barnes said. "I'll know when I plan out my schedule for colleges. It will be during the season. I'm trying to make it up to the Pittsburgh game."
In addition to an in-depth look of the campus, Barnes is hoping to fully see the town of Chapel Hill.
"I'm hoping to learn more about the community, like the town," Barnes said. "I've heard it's a great college town; I'd like to see more of that."