Four-star linebacker Hawatha Bell returned from an unofficial visit this past weekend. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder was blown away by the visit. He now appears to be focusing on four schools.
"I just came back from North Carolina," he said. "It blew me away. They just caught my attention and got my interest. I liked the coaches. I connected with every last one of them. All of the players were telling me how I need to go to UNC and then just the university itself.
"I really liked Coach Blake and Coach Thigpen. They were talking to me like they were one of my boys. I really connected with them. I also talked a lot with Marvin Austin, and a couple other players.
"Josh Hunter went up on the visit with me. We spent the day at one of the players' apartments. We forgot about the whole football situation and chilled out."
Did anything else catch Bell's eye on his visit to Chapel Hill?
"Basically it was the whole academic part," he said. "I also like how they are trying to rebuild and they have a bunch of top recruits. From my understanding, UNC is supposed to be a team of the future."
Previously the No. 8 prospect in North Carolina has mentioned Virginia Tech and South Carolina as leaders. What does this visit do now?
"Virginia Tech is out of my list. I'm not thinking about them anymore," he said. "I am looking at visits and thinking about going back to North Carolina along with South Carolina, Michigan and Illinois.
"I like the winning programs of these schools and the academic parts. They get it done in the classroom."
Bell hasn't scheduled any visits yet, but is planning to work on officials.
"My coach and I are going to sit down and look at our football schedule very soon," he stated. "We should be setting them up in the next week or two."
Is Bell down to four schools?
"I'm still open, but right now I'm leaning towards these. I want to get the whole recruiting side over so I can focus on the football season."
The No. 15 inside linebacker in the country and Butler will open the season later this month on August 29th.