Heels among finalists for Dias

Jermaine Dias has started all but two games in his first three years of varsity football at Hackensack High (NJ), and the North Carolina target plans to do close to the same in college.

Hackensack coach Ralph Dass said while most of the schools in the country have shown an interest in Dias, it looks to be a four-team race.

"He's not going way out west," Dass said. "What he is looking at right now is Boston College, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, but not necessarily in that order.

"He's seen all of them unofficially, he visited North Carolina this summer," Bass continued. "They (the four leading for Dias) are all good people, we are trying to find a good fit for him location wise, football wise and academic wise. All are good coaches at great programs."

He will take those visits later in the year, likely late November.

Dias told IC that he has no official visits planned, even as North Carolina hosts national power Texas this week, during an important recruiting weekend.

Dias said that his final four, or so it seems, stuck because of each school's academic programs, winning traditions and campus scenery.

"They are all just beautiful places to be," Dias said. "[While] I haven't met [coach] Bunting, UNC is probably one of the nicest schools that I have visited. It's a beautiful place. The facilities, well, its one of the best really."

As with most recruits, family does factor into the decision.

"I won't commit until after I've taken all my visits," Dias said. "I might not know until close to signing day."

Dias said that his mother has enabled him to focus more on the football side of choosing a school, while she tackles coaches with her academic questions.

"She wants to make sure that I am not just an athlete," Dias said. "She wants to know that wherever I go I will graduate."

Dias, however, is looking to see significant playing time early in his college career.

"I'm not looking to start my freshman year but it will play a big role in my decision," he said. "I want to be on the field as soon as possible. I'm not scared of the competition, and if I have to go out there and beat out three or four guys, then that is what I've got to do."

Dass said that Dias' speed off the corner and running ability is something that college coaches have noticed.

"He runs well and he has a knack for the ball," Bass said. "He plays well off the block, and he's a playmaker."

Dias said being a member of a state championship team has allowed him to observe former teammates go through the process of selecting a college.

"I've seen it from a lot of angles, whether it has been kids' whose grades were good and got in, kids' with great talent and barely getting by on grades or how I have seen kids' just get passed over. I really did benefit from seeing all that and it helped me to know what I liked and disliked."

And that has helped Dias with the whole recruiting experience. "It can get to you if you leave it wide open," Dass said. "He is well aware of what this entails."

Dias Stats
(6-3, 215, DE/OLB)
2.6 core/850 SAT
Bench: 315
Squat: 470
Power Clean 270
40: 4.6
Jr. year stats - 64 tackles and 12 sacks

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