Top Lineman Visits UNC

James Hurst and his mother traveled to the Tar Heel state two weekends ago to make a couple of recruiting visits, including a stop in Chapel Hill to check out North Carolina.

"I was very impressed," Hurst said. "It's a great school, first of all. And football is just getting better and better every year. I think they have a great coaching staff that treats their players right and they know where they're going."

Hurst, a 6-foot-6, 284-pound offensive tackle from Plainfield (Ind.), was surprised by his experiences at UNC.

"I think it opened my mind up a little bit," Hurst said. "I didn't expect North Carolina to be such a great place. I wasn't expecting bad things, but I guess I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and went through the whole day. It reminded me to keep an open mind with all of these schools and give everyone a shot."

Hurst, who will be mid-year enrollee, is targeting early August to make a verbal commitment. To simplify the decision, he plans to narrow his list of 20-plus scholarship offering schools to ten by the second week of April.

"I'd say one of the things [I'm looking for] is how comfortable I am on the campus – if I feel like this is a great place for me to be for the next four or five years," Hurst said. "I'd liked to have an interesting major; something that if football doesn't work out that I can have something that I love to do for the rest of my life."

Hurst says no schools are locks to make his final ten list. However, he revealed that UNC's chances to make the cut are "pretty good."

"Right now, I've taken five visits and been doing research on several other schools, and [UNC] is one of the top schools," Hurst said. "I think there's a good chance UNC will be in it."

To assist with the narrowing process, Hurst will continue to make unofficial visits.

In two weeks, Hurst has plans to visit Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. He's also considering visiting Ohio State the following week.

In addition to Duke and UNC, Hurst has already visited Indiana, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, and Purdue.

Hurst arrived in North Carolina two Fridays ago and proceeded to spend the remainder of the day in Durham visiting Duke. He spent all day Saturday at UNC and then headed home Sunday afternoon, before the UNC-Duke basketball game.

"They invited us to go [to the basketball game]," Hurst said. "We really wanted to go. But our flight was leaving at noon on Sunday, so we couldn't stay for it."

Upon his arrival at UNC on Saturday morning, Hurst was greeted by UNC's entire coaching staff. After meeting with Butch Davis for 30 minutes, Hurst spoke to representatives from both the Business School and Sports and Exercise Science Department. He then toured the campus, including the dorms, academic buildings, and athletic facilities.

Hurst spent the remainder of the day hanging out with UNC's coaching staff.

"We ended up talking about football and how they run things and what they're looking for," Hurst said.

Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach, served as Hurst's host during his entire Chapel Hill stay.

"Obviously, he talked to me about football, but really it was more about the school and what I'm looking for and more about me," Hurst said. "Obviously, he gave me the information that I needed. But it was kind of a man-to-man day."

Pittman explained UNC's plans for Hurst, should he become a Tar Heel.

"We went over the depth chart, I got to meet a couple of their players, we actually watched a little bit of film," Hurst said. "He just told me that they're light at the tackle position and I'm one of their top guys."

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