One of the top 2011 linebackers in the mid-Atlantic made an unofficial visit this past weekend. The 6-foot-1, 214-pounder made his way to Chapel Hill to check out the Tar Heels.
"I loved it," Virginia Beach (Va.) Kempsville linebacker Travis Hughes said. "North Carolina is great. It's beautiful and, man the colors and everything. It's just a great place with great facilities and outstanding coaches. My father, grandfather and I were thoroughly impressed."
What wowed Hughes so much?
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"Actually, it was the coaches that blew my mind," he said. "Coach Browning is a good recruiting coach and he showed me a lot of love. He made me feel at home and gave me a nice feeling. The linebacker coach was great and really cool.
"I also talked with the players, Curtis Campbell who I used to run track with. He loves it there. He was talking UNC up to me. All of the players were cool and nice.
"Plus, they played an amazing game. Their defense is aggressive I loved it. They had speed at the linebacker spot, they were aggressive, ripping the ball away from running backs and scoring touchdowns. Two linebackers got interceptions for touchdowns. They also had a great defensive line that freed up the linebackers to make plays."
The Tar Heels hadn't offered before the trip, what's the status now?
"They are just looking to see how the rest of the year goes with my grades and SAT/ACT," he said. "If they offer, that's a great college, but I still have to make more visits and see other teams. I can say North Carolina was a great trip."
Next up for Hughes is a trip to Maryland this weekend for an unofficial.
"I'm basically trying to take all my trips within three to five hours," he said. "It's hard for my father to get around, things are hectic for him.
"We have already been to Virginia as well as Maryland to see my brother play."
Currently Hughes holds four offers from East Carolina, Maryland, Penn State and Virginia Tech.
The junior prospect has helped his team to a 3-3 season while making an impact on both sides of the field.
"We had a disappointing loss on Friday against Green Run, we were up 17-0 and lost 20-17," he said. "We're going to be alright though.
"I've been playing well. I was the rushing leader for the eastern region last week and have about 700-yards and seven touchdowns, averaging five-yards per carry. On defense, I know I'm getting double-digit tackles almost every game and had three sacks last week.
"I've definitely improved this year on both sides of the ball. I'm more aggressive and have more energy. My vision is better and I'm making reads better and filling the hole quicker."
While most schools are looking at Hughes at linebacker, North Carolina has mentioned the possibility of playing running back.
"North Carolina gave me a little hint they may go after me for running back," he said. "I just want to get on the field. I can go on offense or defense. I want to make plays."