Phoebus defensive end Daquan Romero, who committed to North Carolina last spring, has changed his mind and now plans to sign with Virginia.
Phantoms coach Stan Sexton drove Romero and his mother to Charlottesville Monday morning to meet with school admissions officials. Romero told U.Va. coach Mike London before returning that he would be a Cavalier.
Romero, who reaffirmed his commitment to UNC less than two weeks ago, did not want to comment Monday afternoon. Sexton said Romero's change of heart had nothing to do with an ongoing investigation into agent-related benefits and academic fraud within the Tar Heels' program.
"He feels after evaluating everything that maybe he jumped into it too early and made his commitment to Carolina on emotions rather than facts and research," Sexton said. "He said it was nothing against Carolina or anything Carolina had done. He just felt he'd rather stay in-state."
Romero was the Peninsula District Defensive Player of the Year the last two seasons. He's also caught seven passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns this season as the Phantoms' starting tight end.
Romero committed to North Carolina in May, turning down a list of suitors that included Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Old Dominion. London, a graduate of Bethel High, had just been hired as the Cavaliers' head coach five months earlier.
London has made an effort to recruit more players from the Hampton Roads area. His incoming class that is expected to sign in February includes Phoebus linebacker Caleb Taylor, Menchville running back Clifton Richardson, and Hampton quarterback David Watford.
"When (Romero) made his commitment to Carolina, Coach London was just coming into the program," Sexton said. "After talking with the guys about what Coach London is doing up there, he really likes what he's doing and how he's instilling that discipline. He made up his mind that's who he wants to play for."