Heels Host One of Nation's Top OLs

North Carolina hosted one of the biggest prospects of the 2008 recruiting class Monday – figuratively and literally.

Vinston Painter, a 6-foot-6 320-pounder from Norfolk (Va.) Maury who is considered by many to be among the top three offensive tackles in the nation, dropped by Chapel Hill Monday afternoon for an unofficial visit.

"We got up here [Sunday], but we were [on campus] there all day today – just about," said Painter on Monday evening. "I'm on Easter Break so my coach decided to take an unofficial visit to North Carolina."

While on campus, Bobby Rome, a sophomore running back who played against Painter during his prep days, hosted Painter for a campus tour.

"[The campus] was nice – it was real nice," said Painter. "I got a chance to look at a lot and they have pretty nice facilities."

Painter is primarily being recruited by Kenny Browning, but spent the most time with Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach.

"We talked about their offensive line situation, their offensive schemes, and stuff like that," said Painter. "He was saying they need some tackles. They want to get a pretty good tackle that can get the job done and they think I am one of those guys that they can use to help them out."

Before leaving Chapel Hill, Painter sat down one-on-one with Butch Davis for a 20-minute conversation.

"He was talking a little bit about the history of the coaches, the success that he has had, where he's going with UNC, and he wants to get me in there and help him rebuild that program," said Painter.

Monday's visit wasn't Painters first trip to UNC this spring. He attended one of the Tar Heels' Junior Days where he was able to observe spring practice, get his first chance to look at the school, and introduce himself to all the coaches.

With two visits behind him, Painter feels that he has a good understanding of the school and coaching staff.

"They're pretty good – I like them," said Painter. "Now that they have a new head coach that sounds like he really knows what he's doing and knows what he wants to take the program to, I'm interested."

On his way back to the Tidewater Area, Painter stopped in Raleigh to get a glimpse of N.C. State's spring practice.

Outside of the two North Carolina schools, Painter has unofficially visited Florida and will travel to Blacksburg on Friday to check out Virginia Tech.

Painter will "more than likely" skip the college camping scene this summer. Instead, he will relegate his summer months to preparing for his senior season and beyond.

"I'll just get ready for the season and get ready for the transition from high school to college," said Painter. "I want to start to get ready for college early."

No matter how much Painter prepares, he'll be hard-pressed to better his junior campaign. For his play at left tackle, Painter found his name on the All-State, All-Region, All-Tidewater, and All-District teams. He also played defensive tackle and defensive end for Maury.

Painter is reluctant to name any favorites, but says he will name a top five over the summer. "[I'll be looking at] the overall football program, like does their football program win games? – that's the main thing," said Painter. "I want to go into the best situation that will help me progress as a player. And [I'm looking for] a good coaching staff that's going to be around, a good academic program, and an overall good vibe."

However, Painter isn't quite sure when he'll make a verbal commitment.

"I'm just going to take my time and when the answer comes to me I'll let ya'll know," he said.

Vinston Painter Profile

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