Despite living roughly five hours from campus, John Harris has visited North Carolina four times this year. The experiences have made UNC a major player for the 2018 offensive lineman.
"I'd say, [I've visited so often] to see the campus," Harris said. "Chapel Hill is well known as a really nice college town. And it's a school that I'm considering pretty heavily."
Harris, a 6-foot-4, 260-pounder from Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek, first visited UNC during the spring. He returned in the summer for a game and then for a preseason practice. Most recently, he was in attendance for the Tar Heels' ACC-opening victory over Pittsburgh.
Following the camp visit, Harris was offered a UNC scholarship.
"That's a pretty big deal to me," Harris said. "They were the first to take a chance on me."
Since then, Cincinnati and Virginia Tech have also taken chances on Harris -- that is, extending scholarship offers of their own.
Harris says his top five schools list consists of the three offering schools, plus Clemson and Florida.
"I'd probably put North Carolina towards the top," Harris said. "I really, really like Coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic] a lot and I like all the coaches there. And I like the town, like Franklin Street. It's just such a nice area and good academics, as well."
A couple of Saturdays back, Harris saw the town of Chapel Hill in full action on game day. He also saw UNC pull out a last second victory over Pitt.
"At first, it was a pretty good game," Harris said. "And then they started slopping around. They ended up going down something like ten points. But, they never gave up, which is something I really liked. They could have easily mailed it in and just said, 'We'll just take the loss and come back next week.' But they really stuck with it and won the game, which I really didn't think was going to happen."
The fluctuating flow of the game added to the atmosphere of Kenan Stadium, according to Harris.
"Before the game when there was nobody in the stands, the stadium looked kind of small," Harris said. "But, once the stadium filled up it made the stadium look a lot bigger. I'm not sure if it was sold out, but there was a ton of people there."
Harris fully soaked in the atmosphere of the win with a post-game visit to the locker room.
"Everybody was going crazy," Harris said. "It was awesome."
Prior to the game, Harris endured a circuit of coach meetings: Larry Fedora, offensive line coach Kapilovic, and primary recruiter Charlton Warren. The experience, however, was more for Harris's mother, making her introductory visit to UNC. As such, Kapilovic focused heavily on personal conversation.
"He was talking to me about my play and how things were going," Harris said. "And he was asking me about my family, like my brother and my sister -- how they're doing. So, it was more personal things."
For Mill Creek, which is undefeated after six games while playing in the top classification in Georgia, Harris starts at tackle. A year ago, he started at guard, but rotated in at center on occasions. On the college level, Harris projects as an interior offensive lineman.
"[Fedora] was asking how the season is going and how I'm playing," Harris said. "He said that I'm looking good and that I'm carrying my weight well and that they should be able to put 25 pounds on me very, very easily."
Harris isn't finished visiting UNC. But, he'll save future trips for after the season so that he can spend quality time with the coaching staff.
"On game day it's kind of hard to sit down and talk to [the coaches], because they're going a million miles-an-hour," Harris said.
In addition to UNC, Harris has visited Auburn, Clemson, and Virginia Tech. He plans on visiting Cincinnati and Florida later this season.