Four-star wide receiver Warren Thompson had planned to visit North Carolina during his spring break last week. But since it coincided with UNC's spring break -- and thus none of its coaches would be on campus -- Thompson postponed his trip.
"I'm going sometime in the spring, probably with my coach because he graduated and played at North Carolina," Thompson said. "I might hit a spring practice or something like that."
Although Thompson has yet to visit Chapel Hill, he has already seen the Tar Heels practice. The 6-foot-4, 196-pound Seffner (Fla.) Armwood product attended UNC's practice leading up to the Russell Athletic Bowl, a couple winters back.
"It was fast paced," Thompson said. "It was the first actual college football practice I've ever been to. So it was good to see in general, because it was all new."
Keith Newman, Armwood's running backs and head strength coach, is a major reason Thompson has such an affinity for a school he has yet to visit. Newman played linebacker for the Tar Heels (1995-98) and certainly planted seeds in Thompson's mind.
"North Carolina is a big one that I'm high on, really," Thompson said. "North Carolina had interest in me at the beginning of my sophomore year, but they didn't offer until my sophomore spring. My coach was telling me to look at their offense and I was like, 'What's so good about their offense?' But when I saw them play Florida State and I watched Ryan Switzer's highlights, I just saw how they move the ball around and they balance it out. They have a good offensive scheme. They have an offense to get me the ball often."
Of course no matter how resilient the seed, it won't grow without nurturing. That's where UNC's staff -- specifically Tampa recruiter Chad Scott and wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer -- came into play.
"No. 1, the way they recruit me [makes me want to visit]," Thompson said. "They've been texting me everyday. And they really care and they're genuine. They text my mom every day. They tell me how they're going to use me in the offense.
"The second thing: I love their offense so much -- the way they share the ball around to all the skill players."
Brewer and Scott have broken down how Thompson fits within UNC's no-huddle, one-back spread offense.
"They want me as the big, deep threat down the field," Thompson said. "Coach Scott and Coach Brewer were telling me, 'If Ryan Switzer is putting up these monster numbers, imagine what you will do with this offense.'"
As a junior, Thompson pulled in 28 passes for 419 yards and five touchdowns.
Thus far, Thompson has visited Alabama, Central Florida, Florida, Florida State, Miami, and South Florida. In addition to his trip to UNC, he plans to return to Alabama and Florida State this spring. He also hopes to visit Oregon this summer.
A year ago, Thompson was committed to Miami, as he put it, for "45 minutes." He plans for his next pledge to last until Signing Day. Therefore, he won't rush into a decision.
"If the offseason goes right, I'll commit in the summer," Thompson said. "If not, I'll just wait until after the state championship."