Andrew Leota returned to North Carolina late last month for the Tar Heels' first junior day of the 2018 cycle. The experience allowed the Asheville (N.C.) defensive end to revive his relationship with Deke Adams, who recently became UNC's defensive line coach.
"I already knew Coach Adams, because when he was at South Carolina, he recruited my brother," Leota said. "I've know Coach Adams for a while now. So, we already had a connection really before [I attended the junior day]. My family loves Coach Adams. I probably have a better connection with him than I did with Tray Scott, because I really didn't get to know him that much."
Previously, Leota, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder, visited UNC when it played Virginia Tech amid a hurricane. He has also accompanied his brother, Pika, on recruiting trips to Chapel Hill. Pika, an offensive lineman, has since enrolled at South Carolina.
During the January junior day, Adams made sure to have a lengthy conversation with Leota and his parents, who joined him on the visit. There was very little actual football talk, during the chat.
"We were just trying to really build our bond," Leota said. "He talked about his son and how he's in my class and also going through the recruiting process."
Besides Adams, Leota had conversations with area recruiter Chad Scott and Larry Fedora.
"[Fedora] just talked to me about what they liked about me," Leota said. "He said he loved my film, and he loved my motor and said that would get me far."
The junior day experience coupled with Adams's addition has helped UNC remain in the front of Leota's mind.
"I don't have a top right now, but [UNC] is definitely up there on my radar," Leota said. "Really, I'm really liking the four that have offered me -- North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech, and Rutgers. But it's not just because they've offered me -- I have a strong relationship with those four schools. But, I'm kind of keeping my options open."
Leota has visited all four aforementioned schools, with the exception of Rutgers.
This coming Saturday, Leota is scheduled to return to Duke. He's also working on plans to be back in Chapel Hill on March 4 for another junior day, albeit the UNC's exclusive junior day, which will include the UNC-Duke basketball game.