UNC Enters Race for Ga. Athlete

Shortly after a North Carolina coach visited Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson High's spring practice two weeks ago, Tyrone Cornileus received a UNC scholarship offer.

"I talked to one of the coaches later [after he visited my school]," Cornileus said. "He said he liked how I play. He said they're really interested in me and I have an offer [from UNC]. I'm just waiting on the official letter."

Cornileus, a 6-foot-2, 189-pound athlete, has collected approximately 15 scholarship offers. Among the offering schools are Auburn, Georgia Tech, Miami, Louisville, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

The majority of schools are recruiting Cornileus as a linebacker, while schools like Georgia Tech, Ohio State, and South Carolina are recruiting him for safety.

The topic of projected position didn't come up during Cornileus' conversation with UNC.

For Stephenson, Cornileus has exclusively played linebacker. As a junior in his first year starting, he totaled 118 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions, and caused two fumbles.

Cornileus will have a fairly hectic summer.

"I'm really trying to plan trips to as many schools that have offered me as possible so I can get a better feeling for each one of them," Cornileus said.

Cornileus plans to camp at Florida, and make visits to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Miami, UNC, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

During the spring, Cornileus attended spring practices at Auburn and Georgia Tech, as well as Miami's Spring Game and a junior day at South Carolina.

Heading into his hectic summer, Cornileus is favoring five schools – Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Miami, and South Carolina.

"I need to learn a little bit more about Alabama, as far as academically," Cornileus said. "But I know as far as tradition, Alabama has had a very good football team. They're a powerhouse in the SEC.

"What I like about Georgia Tech, first off, is the academics, including the engineering department. They also have a very good team that's getting a little better each year; I think this year they're going to be real good.

"Miami, down there I love the atmosphere – the atmosphere of the college [and] the football team. [I like] the tradition of the football team and the rate at which they send players to the NFL.

"South Carolina, I like the school. I love the campus. I like Coach [Steve] Spurrier as a coach. The football team seems to be coming up, as well.

"With Auburn, I have a great relationship with my recruiter, Coach [Tommy] Thigpen. They have a great engineering program."

UNC isn't among Cornileus' favorites, mostly because it just began seriously recruiting him. However, the Tar Heels are on his mom's list.

"My mom really likes North Carolina," Cornileus said. "[She] thinks I should be looking into it some more, also. She agrees it's a good school that has a great academic reputation. The fact that it's kind of close [to home] is a plus."

Cornileus, who is on track to graduate high school in December, isn't exactly sure when he'll make a verbal commitment.

"For a verbal commitment, the soonest will probably be by the end of the summer," Cornileus said. "The latest will probably be maybe sometime in September."

For whenever the time comes, Cornileus already has his list of decision-making factors ranked.

"First, I'm looking for academics, as far as chemical engineering; if not chemical engineering, then forensics or criminology," Cornileus said. "Second is the school's atmosphere – I want a good, safe environment for me [and] am I comfortable there. Third, would be probably football tradition, as far as winning. And then there's playing time – when am I going to get on the field."

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