Linebacker Chris McCain is still keeping all of his options open but a recent visit to Wake Forest catapulted the ACC school to the top. The reason the Demon Deacons are the team to beat is because of something the coaching staff told McCain about his education.
"They told me one thing that no other college has told me and that's if I get hurt they'll still pay for me to go to college, I could still get an education," McCain said.
"It's close to home, it's 30 minutes away from my house so I could be 100 percent sure my parents could make it, I don't have to worry about that. I like coach (Jim) Grobe and coach (Ray) McCartney, they're great guys."
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The 6-foot-7, 203-pound outside linebacker from Greensboro (N.C.) Northern Guilford said Syracuse is second on his list and California is third. But one of the main considerations he will have when choosing a school is location.
McCain, rated as the No. 137 prospect by Rivals.com, would prefer to stay close and that's why California poses such a concern even though he has developed a strong relationship with defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi. He's also been in contact with the Syracuse coaching staff mainly through e-mail.
"Coach Lupoi is the main reason and I saw a DVD from him in the e-mail and it showed how the percentage of their athletes graduated and their students altogether," McCain said. "That is a high graduation rate. … (Location) would be a problem because my family wouldn't be able to come and see me. It would be a little challenge. It's concerning me a lot because I really want to stay close to home."
Since location might play such an important role, North Carolina and Clemson are two schools that McCain is still considering but both have slipped in recent months.
Neither is among his top three at this point although both still interest him. McCain, who had 97 tackles and 20 tackles for loss last season, said he's planning to attend Maryland's spring game in a couple weeks.
"I started liking Carolina so I went down there to a camp last week and they showed me the campus and they were talking to me about how good they are down there," McCain said. "It was interesting plus it's close to home. I know my parents could go see me all the time, every game, so that's cool."
As for other visits, McCain said he would like to visit Louisville and especially Kentucky since playing in the SEC intrigues him. NC State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and East Carolina have also offered.