Four-star prospect Cesar Ruiz used his first official visit to make his much anticipated return to North Carolina this past weekend.
"Everything was good," the nation’s No. 2 center said. "Everything was smooth. I had a great time.”
Ruiz, a 6-foot-3, 296-pounder, first visited UNC just prior to his junior season, which is when he transferred from Camden (N.J.) High to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. He attempted to visit this past summer, but the trip failed to materialize.
“North Carolina, they’ve been high on my list since my recruitment first started really,” Ruiz said. “This official, I had such a great time it makes me wonder what other schools have to offer, as well."
It won’t be long before Ruiz sees what other schools have to offer. This weekend, he will use his second official visit on Michigan.
Ruiz’s Michigan trip might be his most consequential – it’s the school perceived by some to be his leader. However, Ruiz denies that’s the case.
“I’m not sure who would make that assumption really,” Ruiz said. “I don’t have a leader right now.”
Additionally, Ruiz has official visits scheduled with Florida (Oct. 15) and Oklahoma (Dec. 3). The Gators host Missouri the Saturday of his official, while the Sooners take part in Bedlam during Ruiz’s stay.
Tentatively, Ruiz will make his collegiate choice on Dec. 18, his father’s birthday. If a couple more weeks are needed, he’ll hold off until the Under Armour All- American Game.
Ruiz’s UNC official visit itinerary revolved around its ACC opener, which proved to be a last-second, come-from-behind win over Pitt.
“It was a crazy game all around,” Ruiz said. “I didn’t think that was going to be the outcome at all. Regardless of who won or not, I didn’t think it was going to come down to that. The fact that UNC won made the atmosphere 10 times better.”
Sunday was reserved for UNC’s coaches. First up: an in-depth meeting with Chris Kapilovic, UNC’s offensive line coach.
“He was just asking about the questions that I had,” Ruiz said. “He let me know how low they are on the [center] depth chart. He told me I would fit in great at Chapel Hill.”
Before heading to RDU airport, Ruiz sat down with Larry Fedora.
“He was just basically talking to me about what Chapel Hill has to offer,” Ruiz said. “He told me [UNC] is not just about football – it’s also going to help you in the long run with the resources it has.”
Red-shirt freshman offensive lineman William Sweat hosted Ruiz through his stay.
“It wasn’t awkward or anything,” Ruiz said. “He picked me up and we started talking a lot. I asked him how he liked UNC. He was asking me a lot of questions. We were just trying to get to know each other.”