Jeffrey Still Interested in Heels

Over the course of the last month or so, Damario Jeffrey has been focused on finishing his junior year strong academically . With only two days left in the school year, he is beginning to shift his concentration more towards recruiting.

"I've really been throwing the whole recruiting process in the backseat," Jeffrey said. "I've been trying to get my work done. But now I'm going to get back to the recruiting process, cut some schools and tell a couple of schools I'm not interested and go from there."

Jeffrey, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete from Columbia (S.C.), says his scholarship offer list includes approximately 25 schools. Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Virginia Tech are among the 25.

Within the next two-three weeks, Jeffrey plans to sit down with members of his inner circle, which includes his parents and coaches, and narrow his list of choices down to 15.

Jeffrey says North Carolina, which he unofficially visited in February, is likely to make that cut.

"I've been there and I still hear from them," Jeffrey said. "There have been a couple of schools that offered me that I don't hear from."

In addition to UNC, Jeffrey has unofficially visited Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Marshall, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech. In two weeks, he has plans to revisit Alabama and stop by Auburn.

Later in the recruiting process, after taking all five of his allotted official visits, Jeffrey will make his collegiate decision.

"I want a place that's going to feel at home, because I don't want to go to some place, be there for a month, get home sick, and want to come back," Jeffrey said. "I want a great coaching staff with honesty.

"I also want to come in with a good recruiting class. I don't want to come in with me being the best recruit. I want to come in with guys of my caliber."

Jeffrey is making sure he's approaching his recruitment thoroughly and analytically. He doesn't want to rush into a verbal commitment, like he did when he committed to Clemson in February.

"I was new to the recruiting process," Jeffrey said. "Everything I saw I liked so I figured that was where I wanted to be at. On the ride back home [after committing], I thought if I [visit other schools] they're going to question my commitment. But I did want to visit other schools and make sure I make the right decision."

A couple weeks before his Clemson commitment and de-commitment, Jeffrey attended UNC's Junior Day.

"I wanted to check out all of my schools, because I wanted to see what kind of options I have," Jeffrey said. "So I wanted to go to [UNC's] junior day to see what they had to offer; I wanted to see their campus, too."

During his stay, Jeffrey received a tour of the campus and facilities.

"Everything was nice that I had seen," Jeffrey said. "Nothing really impressed me. I was expecting more because it was North Carolina [and] all the things you hear. But it was a nice campus for the most part."

That weekend, UNC hadn't yet hired a replacement for defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. But Jeffrey received in-depth conversations with his primary recruiter Sam Pittman and Butch Davis.

"Pittman and I talked a lot," Jeffrey said. "[We talked about] everything like what goes on with North Carolina, what graduating from North Carolina can do for me, how it's one of the top schools in the nation academic wise.

"Butch Davis was telling me about how he won all of his championships, how he produced championship players, how he could possibly put me into the [National Football] League, and things of that nature."

Before ending his visit, Jeffrey was hoping to get a better idea of how UNC plans to utilize him. However, without a defensive coordinator, that wasn't possible.

"They're telling me safety, but I don't know where their new defensive coordinator sees me as," Jeffrey said.

Several weeks after Everett Withers' hire, Jeffrey called UNC and spoke to Withers.

"We didn't really talk about my position, he just wanted to get to know me," Jeffrey said. "We asked me what position I want to play, he never told me what he wanted me to play. He was telling me the scheme he was going to run and the safety situation. He was telling me how they need some linebackers, too, so I'm guessing he's juggling me between both [positions] right now."

Jeffrey said he would like to play safety in college.

At Columbia High, Jeffrey plays safety and linebacker where he ended his junior season with 109 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles, five interceptions (two returned for touchdowns).

"We run a 4-4 and a 4-3 scheme," Jeffrey said. "If a team runs a spread, then I'll be a safety. But if a team likes to pound the ball, I'm in the box."

Jeffrey is also a terror on special teams, blocking five punts and a field goal.

Offensively, Jeffrey plays "everywhere," catching 13 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, and ten carries for 135 yards and a score.

Damario Jeffrey Profile

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