Nation's No. 1 LB to Visit UNC

North Carolina has taken the next step toward landing the top defensive recruit in the country for the second consecutive season. Arthur Brown, a five-star linebacker and's top ranked overall prospect in the nation, included the Tar Heels in his final list and will visit Chapel Hill.

"I know that North Carolina is the biggest surprise of all the schools on the list from a national perspective," said Brian Butler, who mentors Brown through his organization Potential Players and has helped conduct his recruitment. "I think the most important things [regarding UNC] are the diversity throughout the city [of Chapel Hill] and with that area, and Coach [John] Blake as a recruiter. Obviously, Butch Davis being the head coach and having the pedigree that he has was attractive.

"Coach Blake is a phenomenal recruiter and has always showed strong interest and has always supported Arthur and my organization, ‘Potential Players.' He's always been very interested and called consistently. He really showed how much he wanted Arthur.

"Also, with Coach [Tommy] Thigpen there, Arthur really liked his conversation with him. I've had numerous conversations with him as well, and I felt very comfortable with him."

In addition to UNC, Brown, a 6-foot-1, 210-pounder from Wichita (Kan.) East, has narrowed his lengthy list of options to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma, and Southern Cal.

"I can just tell you the main things we looked at were the coaching staff – in particular the position coaches," Butler said. "Also, taking a look at the cities of where he would be playing. And obviously, the tradition of the programs is another thing that stands out."

According to Butler, all ten finalists are on equal footing at this point. Brown, though, has singled out five schools to be granted an official visit – Alabama, LSU, Miami, UNC, and USC.

"There is no disadvantage of not having an official visit," Butler said. "Because every school in the five [finalists without an official visit], we've already visited, unofficially.

"Our goal in this was to see every school in his ten. If it worked out that he could see all ten schools, he was going to make that work. With having these five official visits, he can make that work."

During the summer, Butler spearheaded an extensive college campus road trip that included stops at the five finalists Brown won't be officially visiting.

Last weekend, Brown took his first official visit to Alabama, the only school to receive both an unofficial and official visit.

"It went quite well," Butler said. "Nothing changed [from the unofficial visit]. The tradition is great, the fans are great, the coaching staff is very professional – a lot of NFL experience within the coaching staff. It's a phenomenal place, the campus is beautiful – they take real good care of it. It's a football state – Alabama was great."

Brown has scheduled his UNC visit for October 13th (including the UNC-South Carolina game) and has set USC's trip for December 1st (including the USC-UCLA game). He's still in the planning stages with LSU and Miami for their respective official visits.

Butler accompanied Brown and his father during the official visit to Alabama. However, Butler is unsure if he'll the trip for Brown's four other official trips.

Both of Brown's parents hope to attend each future official visit. Currently, though, they are only set to join him on his trip to UNC.

Following each trip, Brown will continue to fill-out the "House Inspection," which is a spreadsheet Butler developed that breaks down various attributes of each school including players, head coach, position coach, strength and conditioning coach, academic support staff, city, facilities, etc.

On December 17th, Brown will announce his collegiate decision.

"We've had this planned out for a year," said Butler. "The reason for the date is this: he's going to be an early graduate so he's going to be coming into school for the spring semester. Wherever he goes, he wanted to have at least three weeks without dealing with any of this [recruiting], at all.

"And then also, with his last trip being the December 1st weekend, we wanted to give him a couple of weeks to be able to pray on his decision after seeing all those schools, putting everything out on paper, and giving time for him and his family, and myself to pray over this situation."

Butler and Brown's parents will play a major role in the decision making process, Butler said, while the "House Inspection" will serve as the primary research tool.

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