For much of Avery Jones’s recruitment, North Carolina has lead for the 2018 offensive lineman. That’s no longer the case.
“I’m kind of looking at all teams equally right now,” Jones said. “I kind of want to take a step back and look at all my options.”
Those options grew to eight schools last week when Vanderbilt offered Jones. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Havelock (N.C.) native also holds scholarship offers from Charlotte, Duke, East Carolina, UNC, NC State, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
Although his calendar is clean, visits will be a major tool Jones uses in evaluating his options. Some of those visits could take place during the football season.
“I want to go on some visits and ask every school the same questions,” Jones said. “And I want to see what they have to offer and what I have to gain from going there.”
Inaugural visits to Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are among Jones’s most desired trips.
Jones, who has taken a couple trips to UNC, is also eager to return to the school for his first football game in Kenan Stadium. He considered attending the Tar Heels’ home opener on Saturday, but eventually decided against it.
“I want to see the atmosphere and how the fans are,” Jones said. “I also want to see how the coaches and the players reaction towards each other.”
Although Jones does hear from area recruiter Gene Chizik from time to time, Chris Kapilovic, UNC’s offensive line coach, has taken charge of Jones’s recruitment.
“They said I’m one of their top recruits in the class,” Jones said.
According to Jones, Kapilovic sees Jones playing center in college. Although Jones has exclusively played left tackle for Havelock, he was a center in middle school.
During Jones’s most recent visit to UNC, Fedora’s Freak Show in June, he was coached by Kapilovic.
“He seems like a coach I could talk to and I can learn from,” Jones said. “If I went there, I feel like I could talk about off-the-field stuff with him.”
Outside of the experience of being coached by Kap, Jones also enjoyed the Freak Show’s overall atmosphere.
“It was exciting being on the game field – I had never been on their field,” Jones said. “It was pretty hyped with the music and stuff. The players seemed pretty cool.”
Despite taking a step back, Jones says UNC is a strong player within his recruitment.
“They’re close [to family],” Jones said. “I don’t have a problem going far, but I would like to stay close. I don’t have a problem going somewhere in Virginia or something like that, but not much further.
“[UNC] is a school that I’ve always liked. And I like the coaching staff, as well.”