October 1, 2002

Sometimes recruiting news has to be taken...

Sometimes recruiting news has to be taken with a grain of salt

When it comes to recruiting, the old adage about believing half of what you read and hear is probably a good rule of thumb.

Except for this column, of course.

Fans of North Carolina football who follow recruiting found out why that's often true recently in regards to an Internet report on Fayetteville, N.C., defensive lineman DeMarcus "Tank'' Tyler. A Midwest recruiting site, which is part of a fairly reliable network, interviewed Tyler and asked the normal questions. When it came to the one about which schools he's considering, Tyler either left North Carolina off or the site neglected to mention the Tar Heels' involvement.

Within hours of the story being posted on the Internet, I must have received a half dozen calls from concerned UNC fans wanting to know why Tyler had dropped their team.

Well, the truth is, he hasn't. In fact, according to Tyler's coach at E.E. Smith High School, the Tar Heels are very much in the picture with the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder.

"They've continued to recruit DeMarcus very hard,'' E.E. Smith's Milton Butts said last week. "They are still very much in the picture as far as what he's telling me.''

Tyler's offer list has grown significantly since we last discussed him in the preseason. In addition to UNC, he has offers from Maryland, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

Butts said Tyler has not been concentrating heavily on the recruiting process at this point. Academics have taken center stage because he's attempting to graduate early from high school, so he can enroll at the school of his choice in January.

"We won't get into that process of picking places to visit until we sit down and talk with his mom,'' Butts said. "But he has a big SAT test coming up on October 4 and he needs to concentrate on that and getting his 2.5 grade point average higher, so he can graduate early. That's what we're shooting for.

"Once he actually sits down and decides which schools to visit, it won't be long that he makes a decision.''

Butts said that Tyler doesn't seem to be leaning toward any particular school at this point, despite reports that N.C. State might have the early edge.

"They were the first ones to offer him, so I think that's where that is coming from,'' Butts said. "But I expect he's going to see all these places with his Mom before he decides.''

Another Fayetteville product being pursued heavily by UNC said he will make an official visit to Chapel Hill.

Kyndraus Guy, a 6-4, 260-pound offensive lineman from South View High School, said he'll definitely set official visits with Clemson (Jan. 1) and North Carolina (date to be determined).



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