Passing on an offer to play for Kansas State wasn’t easy for Blinn College tight end Chris Loving to do.
It took an opportunity to play right away at a place he felt at home while being close to home for Loving to tell the Wildcats no.
That situation is exactly what Loving found at North Texas, where he committed to sign on Sunday after taking an official visit to the school.
UNT received commitments from a pair of tight ends who cited the school’s location close to their hometowns as being factors in their decisions over the weekend. The Mean Green also picked up a commitment from Saginaw’s Wylie Reinhardt, who backed out of a pledge to play on Texas State’s offensive line to play tight end for UNT.
Oral commitments are non-binding. The first day recruits in the class of 2013 can sign national letters of intent is Feb. 6.
“Kansas State offered, but I feel like North Texas is the right place,” Loving said. “I liked it a lot, and the school is helpful with academics. I am big on getting a degree.
“The location was also a big part of it. I didn’t want to leave Texas. My parents will be able to see a lot of my games.”
Loving, 6-foot-4, 265-pounds, was an honorable mention All-Southwest Junior College Athletics Conference selection as a sophomore. He played at Klein High before spending two years in junior college.
Loving will have three years to use his remaining two years of eligibility at UNT, where he will enroll in July after finishing his two-year degree at Blinn.
Loving was recruited by UNT wide receivers coach Mike Grant.
“He is very athletic and was really a good high school basketball player,” Blinn head coach Ronny Feldman said. “Any time you are 6-4 and can move all around, it makes you desirable.”
The athletic ability Loving displayed was what attracted the attention of Kansas State’s coaches.
Loving just felt more comfortable at UNT.
“I liked the coaches and the players and really enjoyed being around them,” Loving said. “I like what the program is growing into and that the school is going to Conference USA. That was a big part of it. The competition will be better, and we will have a better chance to go to a bowl game.”
Reinhardt also cited UNT’s location as a key factor in his decision. He committed to Texas State in June.
“I was committed to Texas State, which was nice, but I took my official visit to North Texas and felt like I fit in better,” Reinhardt said. “It’s a better opportunity. I am closer to my family, which can come and see me. I want to stay close to my brother and sister, and I like where the program is headed.”
Reinhardt played on Saginaw’s offensive line as a junior before moving to tight end as a senior, when he caught 10 passes for 105 yards. He was a first-team All-District 6-4A selection last year and was recruited by UNT tight ends coach Nick Quartaro.
Both Loving and Reinhardt could fit into the role Andrew Power carved out as a vital blocker in UNT’s running game. Power was a senior last season.
“The offense that UNT runs uses a lot of tight-end sets,” Reinhardt said. “They had four tight ends on the field at once at some times last year. I could play this year.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
UNT oral commitments
The following is a list of players who have committed to become members of North Texas 2013 signing class:
Brock Berglund* QB Valor Christian (Colo.)
Quenton Brown DE Eastern Arizona CC
Chad Davis CB Fort Bend Bush
Sed Ellis LB Paris
James Jones CB Kilgore College
Darvin Kidsy WR Fort Bend Elkins
Chris Loving TE Blinn College
Justin Manu OL Snow College (Utah)
Shawn McKinney OL Trinity Valley JC
Sergio Medina LB Hahnville, La.
Calvin Minor LB Lewisville
Cody Nelson OL Keller
Wylie Reinhardt TE Saginaw
John Schilleci S Guyer
Fred Scott LB Kennedale
Turner Smiley WR Frisco Wakeland
Harrison Sorge OL Wichita Falls Rider
Dominic Walker OL Fort Bend Austin
Dajon Williams QB Pflugerville Connally
* Transfer currently enrolled at UNT