"[Thigpen] heard about the Shrine Bowl. He said he had some friends there and that my name was mentioned a lot. He said they were very interested and even talked about offering me."
Shuey, a 6-foot-3, 238-pounder from Charlotte (N.C.) South Mecklenburg, headed into halftime of the Shrine Bowl with seven tackles including two for a loss. A thumb injury suffered late in the second quarter limited him to just one more tackle the rest of the game.
At South Mecklenburg, Shuey was a three-year starter at both fullback and middle linebacker. He finished his senior season with 88 tackles and rushed for 1,250 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Thigpen informed Shuey that UNC would be recruiting him as a linebacker and would evaluate him more in-depth following the Dead Period.
"Since they've just finished up with their bowl game, they're going to go back and review my tapes," Shuey said. "It's a Dead Period right now, so they're not allowed to talk to me. But I know they're going to come see me when school gets back in session – Jan. 5, I think it is."
Prior to the Meineke Car Care Bowl, UNC practiced at Charlotte Latin School, which is close to Shuey's home. Seizing the opportunity, Shuey and his father dropped by a practice. NCAA's Dead Period rules prohibited Shuey from speaking to anyone affiliated with UNC, but he was able to a look at how Butch Davis conducts his practices.
"I thought it was really organized," Shuey said. "I loved the way Coach Davis was interacting with everybody. With everything going on, there was a real good vibe with the team."
Prior to the Shrine Bowl, Shuey held scholarship offers from Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, and Marshall. While his Shrine Bowl performance has yet to result in any additional offers, it has attracted strong interest from Clemson, NC State, Tennessee, and West Virginia, as well as UNC.
"I've had to pretty much start off at ground zero," Shuey said.
Shuey has acted quickly, though, in revamping his favorites list.
"I've pretty narrowed my top three choices to Clemson, UNC, and Tennessee," Shuey said. "Those three schools have previous success and UNC has improved a lot this year. Clemson, I've always just had an interest in them.
"None of those schools have offered, but they've all pretty much told me that they're going to."
Shuey says he doesn't have a leader.
During the weekend of Jan. 9, Shuey has scheduled an official visit to Clemson. He'll make official trips the two following weekends, also, but the exact destinations haven't been finalized.
"On the 16th [of January], I'm probably going to end up going to UNC," Shuey said. "But I've also talked to [Appalachian State] and Marshall about [visiting] that day.
"And then the 24th [of January], I was originally set up to [officially visit] Illinois. But if Tennessee wants me to come up there, I'll probably end up going up to Tennessee."