Tar Heels get commitment from Providence High OL Bentley Spain

cinscoe@charlotteobserver.comJuly 19, 2013 

Providence High offensive lineman Bentley Spain surprised the North Carolina football coaches Friday when he showed up in Chapel Hill.

He hadn’t told them he was coming.

A few minutes later, he had them jumping up and down after he committed to the Tar Heels.

“They were thrilled,” Spain, 18, said in a phone interview during his trip back to Charlotte. “Obviously very surprised with me coming without them knowing. They were very happy and welcomed me to the family.”

Spain, a 6-foot-6, 292-pound senior, is ranked by ESPN as the No. 11 offensive lineman in his class and the No. 10 senior recruit in North Carolina.

He had narrowed his decision to North Carolina and Stanford. He visited Stanford last week but said he felt more comfortable in Chapel Hill.

Spain said he has a good relationship with the North Carolina coaches, players and recruits.

“I’ve always been interested” in North Carolina, Spain said. He has visited the school as many as 15 times since his freshman year.

“It was just a good situation. ... It’s a beautiful campus, and they have a lot of majors I might be interested in.”

Spain said the recent academic scandals at the university were “kind of a concern, but even with it I still felt good about it.”

Spain said he had hoped to make his commitment before the high school season started.

He missed nearly all of last season after hyperextending his knee in Providence’s first game.

He’s looking forward to getting back on the field with new Providence coach Justin Hardin.

“We’re really getting ready to kind of crank it up here, and I’m excited about it,” he said.

Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe

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