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Co-leaders for MarQuez North

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- As has been the case for awhile, Tennessee remains on top of MarQuez North's list.

MarQuez North likely will announce in January.

But now, the Volunteers have some company.

North, a Top247 receiver from Mallard Creek (N.C.), said late Friday night Tennessee and North Carolina are now his co-leaders.

"I've been liking [North Carolina] for awhile," North told 247Sports. "It's Carolina and Tennessee. It's tied really."

Most recently, the 6-feet-4, 212-pound North visited the Tar Heels on Oct. 27. Last week, North Carolina coach Larry Fedora took a helicopter to North's game, even though North has been sidelined for the season because of a torn labrum.

"I can't even count how many times I've been [to North Carolina]," North said. "It's a lot. It's close to home, I like the history of the school and I like it education wise. I like the way it feels like I'm at home. It's got a certain feel to it."

Additionally, North said he has bonded with the Tar Heels coaches.

"I'm real comfortable with the new staff," he said. "I like Coach [Gunter] Brewer and Coach Fedora."

He added the fact North Carolina likes to throw the ball is "appealing."

North took his official to Tennessee on Oct. 20 and left impressed.

"The atmosphere is crazy at Tennessee," North said.

With the Vols, North is impressed with how the team throws the ball, and the fact the program has produced numerous NFL receivers through the years.

"The've got two great [receivers] right now," he said. "And they have a similar offense [to North Carolina]."

According to North's father, the family thinks highly of the Vols staff and head coach Derek Dooley. Because Tennessee's record is below .500, though, they are concerned about the group's job security, so that is something they are watching closely.

According to North, he likely will announce Jan. 5, 2013 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, giving him plenty of time to see how things shake out in Knoxville.

Although the Vols and Tar Heels lead, North said other teams are not out of it.

He will take an official visit to Ohio State in two weeks, and plans to make a return trip to Florida (a school he already has made an official visit to) in December. There also is a chance he could make an official visit to Oregon, he said. Clemson is another possible visit destination. Odds are, North also will return to both Tennessee and North Carolina again before he makes a commitment.

As for the injury, North had surgery two weeks ago. He said the early stages of his recovery, which could take around four months total, are going well.

"I'm already out of my sling," North said.

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