Tar Heels Enter Race for Rivers

The recruitment of Austin Rivers -- the class of 2011's top-ranked shooting guard -- is taking yet another turn.

Now it appears that North Carolina is tossing its hat into the ring. According to a source, Roy Williams is on his way to Winter Park (Fla.) High to watch the 6-foot-4 junior prospect workout Thursday afternoon.

Rivers confirmed the new interest.

"I think they are supposed to come down today and watch me practice or whatever and just come to see me I guess," Rivers said. "I have practice in about 40 minutes. I don't know if they'll be here or not, but I heard they were coming down to look at me."

The visit isn't out of the blue either. Rivers said he recently spoke to North Carolina's head coach on the phone.

"I just talked to Roy Williams one time about a couple of days ago," he said. "It was the first time I'd talked to him. I don't know if they feel comfortable recruiting me because I'm committed out of respect to Coach (Billy) Donovan, which they should have."

"They didn't know if they wanted to recruit me heavily or not because I'm committed, so we'll see what goes down a couple of days from now," Rivers added.

Sources close to the situation confirm that Roy Williams has also been in recent contact with Rivers' father, Doc, who is the head coach of the Boston Celtics.

So is the top prospect open to the Tar Heels recruiting him?

"I don't know yet," he said. "I think I am. North Carolina is North Carolina. You see the success they've had as a team and you see how much success their players have had going from North Carolina to the NBA. It's a cool opportunity for me."

"I'm definitely going to think about it," Rivers said about UNC. "They're going to come down today and I'll get to talk to him and get a feel for him. I don't have a relationship with him yet. So I'll get to talk to him and see how it goes from there."

Over the summer, Rivers gave Duke permission to recruit him and he even took a trip to the Blue Devil campus in Durham (N.C.) in mid-September.

"I let Duke recruit me because I'm really interested in Duke a lot," Rivers said. "I told Coach K they can recruit me and I'm fine with that, and they have. I love Duke and I love Florida. It's kind of those two schools."

"My situation is a little different and kind of confusing in a way because I'm committed to Florida," he said. "But that's how it is right now. It's those two schools now, and I've told people there might be some other schools that get interested so North Carolina might be that school."

Rivers made it clear that he's still committed to Florida, but is open to Duke recruiting him. And it appears UNC may be getting that same stipulation.

"Instead of schools just coming after me I just have to give them a consent of some sort to recruit me because I am committed," Rivers said. "A lot of schools like North Carolina and Duke have had to talk to me and get the OK because they had respect for Florida."

"Right now, I have no idea what is going to happen," he added. "If I feel like decommitting and that's the right decision for me then I'll do that. If I were to ever decommit, Florida would still be an option."

Rivers is coming off a huge junior season where he averaged 23.9 points a game, while leading Winter Park to their first-ever state championship.

Austin Rivers Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories