Despite the strong feelings, Hughes, 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker from Virginia Beach (Va.) Kempsville, won't be ready to make a verbal commitment until sometime during the football season.
"There's Maryland, and there's Virginia Tech, and Clemson, and LSU that I still like," Hughes said.
Hughes has scheduled a trip to Virginia Tech on July 14. He also plans on visiting Clemson before the end of the summer and is investigating the feasibility of a LSU visit.
During the season, Hughes is looking at official trips to Clemson, LSU, UNC, Southern Cal, and Virginia Tech.
Hughes was accompanied on his Saturday visit to UNC by his father, stepmother, and younger sister. It was his fourth visit to the campus.
"I wanted to break down [film] with Coach [Art] Kaufman," Hughes said. "Also, I wanted to let my stepmother and my little sister see North Carolina."
Both of Hughes' objectives – plus a meeting with the academic support staff – were accomplished.
"I sat down with Coach Kaufman and he broke down their defense, [including the linebackers'] stance and their keys," Hughes said. "I actually learned a lot [Saturday] – block settings, stance, getting to the ball. He taught me technique that I can take to my high school and work on."
Additionally, Hughes further built his relationship with Kaufman.
"I got a great understanding for him [Saturday]," Hughes said. "He knows what he's doing. My father was really impressed by him. He taught some techniques yesterday that I'm going to take to my high school and try to teach to my teammates and my coaches."
Kaufman also informed Hughes that UNC is looking to sign two linebackers, maybe three, with this class.
"They have one [linebacker] that they think is going to go in the first round and another that's a [first round] possibility," Hughes said. "… So there's a void there and it would be perfect for me to come in."
Hughes had received campus tours in prior visits to UNC. However, none were as in-depth as the tour he received Saturday, he said.
"It was the whole entire campus," Hughes said. "They took us to the ‘Dean Dome,' we went into the little basketball museum – I had never seen that before and it was actually pretty nice. And we went the dorms; we got to see where they keep the freshmen, that was actually pretty nice, also. The whole campus was awesome."