While Alan Tisdale isn't ready to name favorite schools at this early stage of his recruitment, the 2018 linebacker says North Carolina has positioned itself high in his mind.
“North Carolina is up there,” Tisdale said. “I like the coaching staff and I can tell they really want me up there in Chapel Hill.”
The attention UNC has shown in Tisdale, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from Greensboro (N.C.) Page, reached a new level on Friday. Not only did area recruiter Chris Kapilovic spend a good portion of the day at Page High School, but Larry Fedora hopped a helicopter to assure he'd attend the Pirates' mega match-up against cross-town rival Dudley.
“It says that they really want me at UNC,” Tisdale said.
Unfortunately, Tisdale and his teammates were in the locker room when Fedora's helicopter landed. Thus, they missed the grand entrance. However, Tisdale was well aware of what was taking place outside on a neighboring field.
“During school people were talking about it,” Tisdale said. “They were saying, ‘Coach Fedora is coming to the game in a helicopter. He’s coming to see you and some other guys play.’ So it was pretty exciting.”
Throughout the game, though, Tisdale did spot Fedora and Kapilovic on the sidelines.
“I just played my game,” Tisdale said. “I really don’t focus on who’s on the sidelines. So, it wasn't added pressure.”
Page went on to upset previously undefeated Dudley, which headed into the game as the top ranked team in Class 4A, with a goal line stand in the final seconds.
“Fourth quarter, there was like 12 seconds left and they didn’t have a timeout,” Tisdale said. “And Hendon [Hooker] tried to do a QB sneak. And we stopped him at the goal line. It was close – it was like a centimeter away from the goal. It was mainly our D-line and then we had to stack up and push them back.
“It was exciting, because we haven’t beat them since 2011 when Page went undefeated. I think Dudley is our biggest rivalry – bigger than Grimsley. We were coming in and [Dudley] was undefeated and people were doubting us.”
After dropping its season opener to Mocksville (N.C.) Davie, Page has reeled off nine straight wins.
Virginia Tech is the only school Tisdale has visited this season. He had planned to travel to UNC for the Tar Heels' ACC bout with the Hokies, but Hurricane Matthew kept him home.
Tisdale, who attended Fedora's Freak Show this past summer, says he and his parents have discussed returning to Chapel Hill “real soon” -- likely for it's game against the Citadel on Nov. 19, although there's a chance they could make the Georgia Tech game this weekend.
UNC is one of five schools to have offered Tisdale. East Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest round out the remainder of his offer list.