UNC Among McCray's Favorites

After spending much of last summer and fall unofficially visiting schools, Zack McCray has enough information to establish an early list of favorites.

"I can name some schools that stand out more than other ones," McCray said. "It would be North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, NC State, and Maryland."

"Those five schools, I can picture myself being at for the next four or five years. I feel most comfortable at those schools."

McCray, a 6-foot-3, 221-pound athlete from Lynchburg (Va.) Brookville, says he doesn't have a leader among the five schools. All five aforementioned schools have offered a scholarship, as well as Boston College, Duke, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Junior Highlights:

McCray doesn't have a timetable for a verbal commitment.

"I've thought about it, but it's whenever I feel right," McCray said. "I want to be able to visit a campus unofficially, and see how I like it. If it draws out long enough, I'll probably take a few official visits.

"It's just whenever I feel comfortable with the campus. I've got to have that feeling where I know which one is right. If I can see myself being there for the next four or five years then I'll probably just go ahead and commit and not draw it out any longer than it should be."

Virginia Tech signee Logan Thomas is McCray's cousin and former teammate. McCray says that Thomas won't try to influence his recruitment.

"We sat down when he committed – I was with him. Coach [Frank] Beamer was like ‘Now that we've got one, let's work another one.' Logan was like ‘All right,'" McCray said. "As soon as we got outside the office, Logan was like ‘I know how it feels to be under all that pressure, so I'm not going try to get you to come here. That's your decision to make. If you choose to come here, that's fine. If you choose to go somewhere else, that's your decision to make.' I was like ‘Thank you.'"

McCray made his first visit to UNC last spring for a Nike Camp. However, it wasn't until UNC's camp in June that he received an opportunity to get a good feel for the school and met the coaching staff.

"I came to camp, but I was injured so I couldn't participate in it. But I got to look around the campus a little bit and talk to coaches while I was there," McCray said. "At that point, I didn't have an offer. They were just sizing me up with those kids out there. They just said they wish they could get me out there, participating."

During his stay, McCray spent the most time with UNC assistant coaches Ken Browning and Steve Hagen.

Last fall, McCray returned to Chapel Hill to see UNC take on Virginia Tech.

Of UNC's coaches, McCray says he keeps in contact most with Hagen, mostly through email.

"He talks about getting me back to campus to talk to the coaches and see some games," McCray said.

McCray plans to visit Chapel Hill this spring.

"I really wanted to go to Junior Day, but I don't think I'll be able to make it," McCray said. "That's one of the ones I wanted to get to, but I'll be out of town for a seven-on-seven tournament."

McCray has discussed a makeup date with UNC, but no formal plans have been established.

Last week, McCray attended Wake Forest's Junior Day and plans to attend next week's Junior Day at NC State.

McCray is being recruited for as many as three different positions. Virginia Tech projects him at defensive end, while Maryland sees him on the defensive side of the ball at either end or linebacker. NC State and Wake Forest said they will give McCray the option.

UNC's coaches haven't talked much about position, but McCray believes he's being recruited as a tight end.

"We haven't really sat down and talked about which side I would play," McCray said. "It's just more or less trying to get me to come there and whichever side I can excel at will be the one I'll be at."'

McCray starts at both tight end and defensive end for Brookville. He ended his junior season with 10 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns, and 87 tackles, 20 sacks, and an interception.

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