MATTHEWS, N.C. --- On May Day, four-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge pared his ever-growing list of scholarship offers to a more manageable 11 schools.
"I just wanted to focus more on the schools I'm still interested in," Sandidge said. "I was getting a little overwhelmed and narrowing it down has helped."
Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Ohio State, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech were the programs that made the cut for Sandidge, a 6-foot-5, 290-pounder from Concord (N.C.) High.
"Some of those schools, I haven't been too, so I have to learn more whenever I go down there," Sandidge said. "But the schools that I went to -- like South Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Miami -- I got to meet the people there and I actually liked it."
UNC is one of the schools Sandidge has visited the most. Thus, it was a given the Heels would make his list of finalists.
"They're the first school to look at me and bless me with an offer, to be honest," Sandidge said. "And I like the people there, also."
Of those people at UNC, Deke Adams is arguably the most impactful. Adams, who rejoined UNC's staff in January, coaches the defensive line. He and Sandidge have spent the past few months becoming acquainted.
"So far, we haven't really talked about much D-line stuff," Sandidge said. "But we talked about if I were to go there what they would do with me. He mostly asks how my family is doing and how I'm doing."
As far as what UNC wants to do with Sandidge, Adams envisions Sandidge playing defensive tackle. Although he has primarily played D-end for Concord, Sandidge is open to the idea of moving inside.
Compared to Adams, Sandidge speaks much more frequently to area recruiter Chris Kapilovic. Regardless, Kap's message has been constant.
"'We have to get you down here,'" Sandidge said. "I've been down there a million times, but he says it again, 'Let's get you down here.'"
For the second consecutive summer, Sandidge has been invited to Fedora's Freak Show. He says he's considering attending once again.
"If I go, I'm just going to have a fun time," Sandidge said. "That's what it's all about."
Now that he has his final eleven, Sandidge says his next step is trimming that list further. However, he's unsure when that will happen or exactly how many schools he'll narrow it down to.
Similarly, Sandidge is uncertain when he'll make a verbal commitment.