Pearl-Cohn senior Rontavius Groves, No. 6 on The Tennessean’s 2015 Dandy Dozen, signed a letter of intent to play football at North Carolina on Wednesday.
“It’s stressful if you let it be stressful, but it’s a blessing,” said Groves, who had more than 20 Division I scholarship offers. “It took me a while. At first I wasn’t feeling North Carolina as much, after talking to Coach (Larry) Fedora and understanding the plan he has for me, it just felt like a good home.”
Groves, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound wide receiver and defensive back made 57 catches for 1,067 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 12 games a season ago, helping lead the Firebirds to a 10-5 record and a runner-up finish in Class 4A. He also registered 38 tackles and two interceptions defensively.
“(Fedora) says he’s going to use me in every way possible — kickoff returns, punt returns, slot receiver, anything to get the ball in my hands,” Groves said.
Groves, a 2015 Class 4A Mr. Football semifinalist and Tennessean All-Midstate first-teamer, verbally committed to North Carolina on Dec. 5, choosing the Tar Heels over scholarship offers from more 15 Division I programs, including Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.
Groves’ signal caller at Pearl-Cohn, Jimmy Ferrell, also signed on Wednesday, deciding to continue his football career at Alabama State.
Ferrell threw for more than 2,900 yards and 28 touchdowns in 15 games, leading the Firebirds to the Class 4A state title game.
Fellow teammate A.J. Morris signed a letter of intent to play football at Highland Community College.
High school: Pearl-Cohn
Position: Wide receiver
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 175
247Sports Composite: 3 stars
Signed with: North Carolina
2015 statistics: 59 receptions, 1,067 yards receiving, 15 total TDs