Michael Clark/Scout

ACC, SEC schools in good shape for nation's No. 5 prospect Devon Hunter

Devon Hunter is getting closer to trimming his list of schools. The five-star Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River safety spoke with Scout about his recent visits, upcoming trips and more.

In the past month, Devon Hunter has been extremely busy. The 6-foot-1, 206-pound Hunter visited AlabamaAuburnFloridaFlorida State and North Carolina.

"All the visits went really well," he said. "I can't separate any because they were all good and answered all of mine and my mom's questions. Basically, I'm working on getting a top five out, so I can take my official visits. I still have a couple more unofficial trips to go on, though, but after I take those trips, I should be ready to narrow that list down."

His most recent visits were Florida and North Carolina, with Florida being first.

"Florida was a great trip," Hunter said. "I had been down there twice before, so I was pretty familiar with the university. But my mom was with me this time and she was able to see everything. It was phenomenal. We were able to see the new facility they have that's strictly for athletes and it had all the latest technology. I'd say my favorite part was just meeting all the people. I met the entire football staff. My interest was already high in Florida, but I'd say the visit increased it even more.

"While I was there, I also had a chance to sit down with (defensive backs) coach (Torian) Gray and coach (Jim) McElwain. They got to show me how I'd fit in and they said I could come in and make an impact.

"Coach Gray and I have had a close relationship since he coached at Virginia Tech and the transition to Florida has been very smooth with my recruitment. I still feel the same way about him. I love his demeanor. He gets after it and trains his DBs to be the best in the country and has a lot of knowledge when it comes to the game. Coach McElwain and I also sat down and talked and he told he was excited I was there. He talked to me about the traditions at Florida and the people and how they take care of each other. He also told I would feel at home at Florida."

The next day, he stopped at North Carolina, which was his second trip to Chapel Hill in a week.

'It was a great trip, too, and it was basically more for my mom because she hadn't been down there yet," Hunter said. "But we were both able to get a better feel for the school and it's starting to feel like home. I've been down there so many times and it's the closest school that I'm considering -- only three hours ways.

"They showed me everything I could possibly see. I would say that's the longest visit I've taken. I basically sat down with everyone who would be associated with me if I went there. They were very organized and prepared, so I really appreciated it. Everything was great, but seeing the business school stood out to me. And I also had a chance to meet the athletic director. He talked to me and my mom, which was really cool. That really meant a lot. They went above and beyond and like I said, I really appreciated it.

"I spent the most time with (defensive backs) coach (Charlton) Warren and (defensive coordinator) coach (Gene) Chizik. It was great being around them. They basically welcomed me with open arms and told me a lot about North Carolina. I felt very comfortable with them and was able to talk to them about anything. Then at the end, we sat down with coach (Larry) Fedora and he spent a lot of time talking to my mom. He told her UNC would be a great fit for me and that she could go to sleep at night knowing that I'm safe. He also said that the football team was a family and that they have a lot of connections after college with people who have been very successful and could help you with life after football."


His next stop will be Virginia Tech this weekend.

"I want to see them practice and how coach (Galen) Scott coaches his safeties," Hunter said. "I also want to see how the team is doing overall and how the coaches work together. I basically just want to get a vibe for how things are going under the new staff."

Following Virginia Tech, Hunter hopes to get Notre Dame in the near future.

"I haven't been there yet, but I know it's a great program, so I'm looking forward to visiting," he said. "They have great tradition and have had a lot of great players, who have also been successful in life. I know it's a strong school academically and when you leave there, you're basically set for life. I want to become more familiar with the school overall."

Hunter said he also hoped to get to Michigan, Penn State and Tennessee for unofficial trips.

In regards to narrowing his list, Hunter said he will likely cut it to five at the beginning of September. Who will make the cut?

"Virginia Tech and Florida will definitely be in my top five," he said. "Virginia Tech has been there since the beginning. The coaches and fans have always had my back and I have so much love for them. Having a chance to play in my home state would also be special. Florida feels like a home away from home and I'm very comfortable there. Everyone is on my side down there and I get good feeling every time I'm in Gainesville. UNC is also getting hotter. They're the closest school and I'm familiar with all the coaches. They also have a great defense and I could make an impact early."

Hunter still plans to make his decision before Christmas

Indian River opens their season Aug. 26 at home against Bethel at 7 p.m.

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