In an effort to make the best decision possible, Avery Jones has attempted to approach his recruitment with an open mind. However, the 2018 four-star admits North Carolina makes that plan of attack difficult, especially on the heels of his most recent visit to the school.
"The visit made it harder to keep an open mind, because I'm a Carolina fan," Jones said. "But, I'm in the same place that I was -- no leaders. But, Carolina is pretty high up there."
Nine schools have offered Jones, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive lineman from Havelock, a scholarship. That list features Duke, Missouri, UNC, NC State, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
Jones isn't exactly sure when he'll make a verbal commitment. However, he revealed that a decision could come as soon as this football season ends (Havelock, which is 11-1, will host Orange (N.C.) High in the second round of the NCHSAA 3A playoffs on Friday). By the same token, he could wait until his senior year.
Before pulling the trigger, Jones wants to visit Virginia Tech.
Other than Saturday's visit to UNC, the only other school Jones has visited this season is Clemson. He attended the Tigers' 43-42 loss to Pittsburgh two Saturdays back.
Jones is no stranger to Chapel Hill, but Saturday marked his first live game in Kenan Stadium.
"I liked it, even though it was a blow out," Jones said. "I would have rather seen them play a better team, I guess. I liked the atmosphere. It was a fun experience going there -- going into the locker room [after the game] and getting to talk to some of the players."
In particular, Jones spoke to freshman linebacker Tyrone Hopper in the locker room after Saturday's 41-7 throttling of FCS Citadel.
Before the game, Jones met with area recruiter Gene Chizik and offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic.
"It was mostly just small talk," Jones said. "I talked about position, a little bit, with Coach Kap. He said center, but that's not set in stone."
For state football power Havelock, Jones has always played offensive tackle. He started at right tackle as a sophomore. He now starts on the left side.
"I'm really open to [center]," Jones said. "I don't really care what position I play on the O-line."
Jones's pregame itinerary also included a brief meeting with Larry Fedora.
"It was more small talk," Jones said. "I think he was trying to get to know me."