Trip Vaults UNC Into Lead for Romero

Daquan Romero was among the Tidewater Area recruits to carpool to North Carolina on Saturday and leave more impressed by the school.

"The atmosphere was great – just how everyone was around there," Romero said. "The football was great too, as well."

Quintae Funderburke, Travis Hughes, Demetrius Nicholson, Raysean Richardson, Caleb Taylor, and Mason Thomas visited UNC with Romero.

Romero, a 6-foot, 207-pound linebacker from Hampton (Va.) Phoebus, had been looking to visit UNC for a while now.

"UNC was always one of my top schools, so I always wanted to visit and see how the campus is," Romero said. "[UNC] and UVa are my top two [schools]. The education at both schools is really good."

Saturday's visit slightly altered Romero's stance.

"Right now, [UNC] is leading by a little," Romero said.

UNC's lead was significant enough to make Romero consider committing before ending Saturday's stay.

"It kind of shook me up for a little while, but I just got calm about it," Romero said. "I didn't want to make my decision too soon.

"I came close [to committing] – I'm not going to lie. But I talked to a couple of people that were my friends and they were like ‘Just calm down. We still have places to see.'"

Romero has upcoming trips scheduled to Maryland and West Virginia. He also hopes to visit Clemson in the near future.

Virginia is the only school, other than UNC, that Romero has visited thus far.

Romero is looking to make a verbal commitment before his senior football season begins.

Much of Saturday's visit was spent on UNC's practice field observing the Tar Heels' spring practice.

"The tempo of the practice and the energy of the players really stood out," Romero said. "Everybody seemed like they were having fun. There was never a dull moment during practice."

When not watching UNC's practice, Romero and company were walking around campus.

"We saw the dorms they're extending," Romero said. "We saw basically all the facilities, like where they practice and lift."

During his stay, Romero spoke to just about every member of UNC's coaching staff, including Butch Davis, Art Kaufman, UNC's linebackers coach, and Ken Browning, Romero's primary recruiter.

"Really, [they discussed] just life," Romero said. "They weren't really trying to make me make a quick decision. They weren't trying to force me into coming. They were just seeing how my family was doing, how I was doing in school, how are my academics, how am I feeling – it wasn't really about football, it was a family conversation."

UNC is primarily recruiting Romero as an outside linebacker.

"Their linebackers have to know every [linebacker] position," Romero said.

Romero has started the past two seasons at outside linebacker for Phoebus. As a junior, he totaled 88 tackles, including 20 for a loss and 30 sacks.

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