Kaufman Visits Tenn. LB

Art Kaufman, North Carolina's linebacker coach, was among the countless coaches that visited Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway's practice last week to see Justin Maclin, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker.

NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from speaking with prospects during evaluation visits. Regardless, a message from Kaufman was relayed to Maclin by his coach.

"He just basically came and said they want me, they are very interested in me, [and] would love to have me at their school," Maclin said.

The interest is reciprocated by Maclin.

"[UNC is] high on my mind, actually," Maclin said. "[I like] the school, period. They've got a lot of tradition at the school; I think I'll have an opportunity to play; and Butch Davis is a good coach, so I think they'll be winning a lot of games soon."

However, when Maclin names his favorite schools, UNC isn't listed.

"Everybody is under consideration," Maclin said. "I don't have a [hard] top five or anything really, right now. I got so many [options] it's hard to choose. So it's up for grabs."

Maclin estimates that 12-15 schools have offered him a scholarship, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Southern Cal, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt.

Last December following Maclin's breakout season, which was his first at linebacker, Butch Davis personally delivered Maclin's UNC scholarship offer.

Alabama, Florida, LSU, and Southern Cal make up Maclin's "top four." Though, he readily states every school is being considered.

"I don't really have any favorites, but those are probably my top four – those were the first to offer me," Maclin said. "Those probably are the ones that stick above.

"Most of those schools, I've been [to their campus] to see their facilities on junior days. I'm pretty comfortable with those schools. I haven't really been anywhere else."

Maclin has visited Alabama and LSU three times each. He has also made visits to Florida and Tennessee.

In the coming months, Maclin plans to make several recruiting trips. While a June visit to Southern Cal is the only scheduled trip, he's considering visits to Clemson, Florida, Georgia, UNC, Mississippi, and Vanderbilt.

Maclin will narrow his list of options to a final five schools within the month.

"My dad was on me today about [narrowing my list of choices]," Maclin said. "So [I'll narrow my list] probably soon."

LSU, according to Maclin, is the only school that is a lock to make the cut to five.

Maclin isn't exactly sure when he'll make a verbal commitment. He says it could come as early as right before his senior football season or as late as Signing Day.

When Maclin makes his collegiate decision – whenever that may be – the imperative factors include academics, early playing time, coaching staff, and comfort level.

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