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May 8, 2006

Saunders focused on four

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Durham (N.C.) Riverside defensive end/tight end Wesley Saunders has seen his offer list grow to seven schools.

"North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest, and ECU have offered me," the 6-foot-5, 271-pound Saunders said. "Virginia is also recruiting me pretty hard."

Saunders, who had 20 catches for 308 yards and seven touchdowns last season as a tight end, has taken several trips to Chapel Hill this spring, and the Tar Heels have made a big jump up Saunders' list as a result.

"I really like the campus, and I feel comfortable there," he said. "The coaches are good people. They've had a lot of players I've looked up to like Julius Peppers and Alge Crumpler and guys like that. I'd say they are my top school now."

Saunders, who also had 52 tackles and four sacks on defense as a junior and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds, also likes South Carolina, a team previously at the top of his list.

"Steve Spurrier, you've got to love that guy as a coach. They are a school that has sent a lot of players to the NFL, and their coaches really seem to know what they're doing down there. Coach (Fred) Chatham is my South Carolina recruiting coach."

Wake Forest and Clemson round out the list of schools Saunders commented on.

"Wake Forest is a great academic school, and they've turned their football program around. Clemson is recruiting me as a tight end, and they have a big-time quarterback commitment in Willy Korn, so it would be good to have him throwing me the ball."

Saunders who has no preference on which side of the ball he plays in college, will base his decision on three primary factors.

"Academics, the coaching staff, and the other important thing is location. I want my family to be able to drive to watch me play pretty easily. I'll probably major in English."

Four teams currently top Saunders list, with one individual favorite.

"UNC, Wake Forest, Clemson and South Carolina are my top four. Like I said, though, UNC is my favorite."

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