Rhodes: 'I'm Very Excited'

DURHAM, N.C. --- After months of favoring North Carolina, Jerrell Rhodes is now a part of the Tar Heels' verbal commitment list.

"I'm very excited to get over there," said Rhodes, a 5-foot-9, 192-pound tailback from Durham (N.C.) Jordan.

"After talking over with my momma, we just decided, and I decided, it's the place I needed to be – and wanted to be."

During the spring, Rhodes was informed that UNC wanted to extend him a scholarship offer. However, the coaching staff wanted to work him out at UNC's summer camp first.

Rhodes attended UNC's one-day camp in June. In addition to receiving his official scholarship offer letter, Rhodes left with a leader.

"The coaches are very cool, easy to get a long with, funny, and I felt like more of a family with them," Rhodes said. "I realized it's close to home, close to my mom, and a good fit for me."

Rhodes was on the verge of verbally committing after the camp, but wanted his mother to see the campus first. However, a group trip to Chapel Hill could never materialize.

This past Saturday, Rhodes sat down with his mother, sister, brother, a few cousins, and grandparents to discuss his college destination.

"I told them I really like UNC and I wanted to commit," Rhodes said. "My momma brought up academics, because that's all she's mainly worried about is me graduating from UNC."

Rhodes and company then proceeded to review their research on UNC's academic reputation.

"They have a good business program, from what we've seen, and that's what I want to major in," Rhodes said.

After the meeting concluded, Rhodes called UNC assistant Ken Browning, who was handling his recruitment, and left a message.

"I told him UNC was where I wanted to be, it's close to home, great academics, and I wanted to commit," Rhodes said. "He was very excited. I was very excited too. He told me I made the right choice and he's glad to have me a part of the family."

Rhodes and Browning also talked about visiting UNC. Rhodes will take his UNC official visit after the season. In the mean time, he and his mother will unofficially visit UNC this weekend for the game against Connecticut.

With his collegiate decision now behind him, Rhodes is firmly focused on school and his senior football season.

"The season is going good and it's going to be good," Rhodes said. "The defense is stronger this year and we have the same offense."

Rhodes and Jordan have a tough match-up this Friday when they host cross-town rival Durham (N.C.) Hillside.

"There's a lot of emotion in that game," Rhodes said. "All the guys that play for Hillside, played with us in middle school, so we're all cool and tight – kind of. So it's like bragging rights – see each other at the mall, ‘Oh I beat you this year.' It's for bragging rights."

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