Aaris Reed went on a whirlwind tour of colleges two weekends ago. He hit Akron, Illinois and Marshall. Each offered the running back, a rising senior at Westlake, a football scholarship.
Each school showed Reed something particularly nice, be it its facilities or coaching staff. Reed knew, however, that none offered the complete package that North Carolina did when he visited Chapel Hill earlier in the summer.
So the decision to commit to the Tar Heels was a pretty easy one. Reed will sign a national letter-of-intent Feb. 1, the first day seniors are allowed to sign football scholarships.
"When I was at North Carolina, I was like, 'That's where I feel I needed to be,' " Reed said. Westlake Coach Dominic Zaccarelli "told me to ask myself, 'If I could never play football again, where would I want to be?' And North Carolina is definitely the place."
Reed is the third Wolverine in the Class of 2006 to commit to a football scholarship and the second to choose North Carolina, joining defensive lineman Darius Powell. Defensive back Pha'Terrell Washington committed to Maryland.
Last season, in his first year of significant action, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Reed led Westlake with 1,276 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. He started the season with seven consecutive 100-yard games.
-- ALAN GOLDENBACH