When Luke Elder suffered a knee injury during LaGrange High School’s spring scrimmage, he was unsure what kind of effect it would have on his recruitment.
But the 3-star tackle, who committed to UNC in June, says the Tar Heels remained loyal.
“Even then, before anything else had happened, they were up there for me and I was up there for them,” Elder told the AJC. “They just believed in me and the recovery process.”
Elder, the No. 61 prospect in the state, went on to have surgery on May 5. Doctors told him he would need six to eight months to recover.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound lineman told the AJC that after his recovery, he trimmed his list of finalists to Georgia Tech, UNC and South Carolina, with the latter sticking out to him.
“I thought, ‘These teams stuck with me, so I have to choose from them,’” Elder said.
In June, he took unofficial visits to both UNC and South Carolina. It was the first time he had taken a one-on-one visit to either program. He committed to UNC on the spot.
“I just felt every time I go up to UNC, whether it’d be the two games I went to or Senior Day, or the one-on-one visits, I just had this great feeling leaving every time,” Elder said. “I looked at my Dad and said, ‘Well, we’ve been through a lot and we’ve gotten close to committing. I’m feeling that this is the place for me.'”
Hear more of what the UNC commit has to say:
What position does UNC envision using you at?
“I’m thinking he envisions me at guard right now. Now, at the same time, he’s saying tackle. He says that because he’s seen me play tackle and knows that I have the feet and length for it. At the same time, I’m kind of in that middle ground. He hasn’t specified yet.”
Would you feel comfortable playing guard?
“I don’t really have a problem with it. I played guard in the all-star game this last Christmas break. It was fun. I like the interior. Being a run blocker in that offense last year, I really like the feeling of running the ball and smashing into some people. That would be fine with me.”
Does South Carolina, Georgia Tech and other schools you were considering still recruit you?
“I get some things. I get a lot from (UNC offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic) mostly. I get a couple things. The other day, (Georgia Tech coach Buzz Preston) said he’s looking forward to seeing me. He’s going to come down to the school. I’m still on their board, so, if I want to make contact with them or anything. He’s a really good guy. One of the best guys I’ve met on this recruiting trail. He’s still recruiting me.”
Do you plan on taking any official visits this fall?
“I might. I’m planning on going to a couple of schools during the fall. Maybe, I really don’t know. I know I plan on going to UNC, maybe others later on. I’m thinking if not for a game weekend type thing, maybe I’ll do it in December.”