Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek wide receiver Marquez North has recently been linked to North Carolina and Clemson as far as leaders. However, the big receiver was in Knoxville, Tenn. this past weekend and has a high interest in the Vols and others.
"The visit was good, that was the loudest place I've ever been and I've never seen so many people in one place," said the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder. "The atmosphere was really good and I got to speak to coach Dooley. I like the way they use their big receivers and they tell me that both Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson could leave early so I could step in right away and be that big receiver for them."
While the Vols lost to the Florida Gators, North still came away impressed.
"I didn't get to talk to Justin or Cordarrelle, the coaches told me I should talk to them after the game but it was a loss and I didn't want to bother them," he said. "But it was a good trip. SEC stadiums are like NFL stadiums, it's crazy."
North, ranked as the No. 2 wide receiver in the country, expects to be back in Knoxville again as he hopes to take an official visit to see the Vols as well.
"Right now I want to take officials to Georgia, Florida, LSU, Ohio State and Tennessee," he said. "I also like North Carolina and Clemson but I can see them on unofficial visits. I haven't set up any officials yet but I hope to do that this week."
There had been reports than UNC and Clemson were his leaders and, at times, his final two. However, that's not the case.
"I've seen that, but that's not true," he said. "I'm keeping my options open. My dad is big on UNC and my teammate Brian Walker is going there and I've been there a lot. You could say I compare my out-of-state visits to UNC, that's what I did with Tennessee, but they aren't my leader."
With the Gators on his list and former teammate D.J. Humphries on the team, Florida would appear to be a viable option.
"I liked the offense," he said. "And the quarterback was impressive. I didn't get to talk to D.J. at the game, but he works on me to get down to Florida."
North has led his team to a 3-1 start and after an opener where he scored just one touchdown, he has caught fire.
"I have 14 touchdowns in the last three games," he said. "I play wide receiver and run the ball out of the wildcat and I even passed for a touchdown as well."
What is North looking for in his school of choice?
"I want early playing time, that's important," he said. "And I want to be comfortable with the coaches and players and with the offense. Those will be the keys."