Recruitment: North Carolina was not the first school to recruit the Durham product: "They came in after South Carolina and East Carolina, who were on me first," Raburn said of UNC's recruitment. "I live two miles away from Chapel Hill and they were the No. 1 team when I was in 7th grade when they were in Omaha. I have always wanted to go there. I always knew if they came in the mix that it would be them. I like their facilities and their coaches and everything was amazing to me."
Diamond Heel alum and single season home run record holder Devy Bell coaches Raburn at Jordan High. "He played there and our assistant last year, Coach Hall, they sing the same tune," Raburn said of his coaches. " I think they have a great relationship with Coach Fox and all the coaches over there. Coach Bell did not try to push me one way or the other. He knew it was my decision and he told me that it is nice to have options because it got a little stressful for a week or two with offers and deciding where I was going to go. He never tried to persuade me one way or the other."
Raburn felt that his relationship with the coaches recruiting him was a key aspect of his decision, "I fell that they have been honest with me from day one and that I have never lied to," he said. "To come in and compete - that is what I want to do. I don't want some coach to tell me that they are going to guarantee that I am going to start my freshman year. Coach Forbes was the one who started with me my junior year and he was easy to talk to and both of them are. I felt welcome."
Why Carolina? "Omaha, without a doubt," Raburn said. "That is my main goal and dream of mine is to play in Omaha. But not just to play there but to win a National Championship. I think that North Carolina is my best opportunity to do that. I live close by so I can see the campus a lot more than other recruits and the academics are great. The Bosh - I used to go to games before they renovated it and now it is just amazing with the weight room, the players lounge and all that stuff was great. I love everything about it - it is all first class."
Scouting Report: Raburn is a right handed batter who runs a 6.7 60-yard dash. His defense is smooth at third base with good footwork and a strong, accurate arm. He has the athletic ability to project to have the versatility to be able to play the outfield or other infield positions.
He has a quick hands at the plate and should hit for average in college and should have some power. Raburn is already solidly built and should really take off physically in a college lifting program.
Coach Quotes: "He is certainly one of the more elite players that we have had," said Bell. "Not just in skill but the person that he is. His work ethic is as good as we have seen. He thinks that he can get a little bit better every day and that is how he approaches the game. He hustles hard. He has a spirit about him that he knows that he is going to succeed. Even when he doesn't succeed he is up on his feet cheering everyone else, not going down in the corner sulking. It is the kind of player that he is. He is one of the better hitters that we have had and at third base he is poetry in motion.
"When he plays over there at UNC at the next level he is willing to do whatever you ask him to do and he will lead from that position and go wherever and do whatever is best for the team - very unselfish. He is always looking to help out wherever he can especially with the younger kids, we practice our JV's together with our varsity a lot. That is where you should see him work, where he is instructing the young kids on running the bases, running plays and which side of the field to cover and how to backhand the ball."
Future Plans: Raburn has already been contacted by at least one MLB team heading into his senior campaign: "The Chicago Cubs have sent me some stuff - packets and medical questionaires and things like that and talked with me and my parents down in Jupiter," he said. "I doubt that I will be drafted out of high school - I don't see it happening."
The North Carolina coaching staff has discussed projected positions with Raburn. "They told me infield and outfield," he said. "I don't have a favorite and if I am on the field I am good. I could care less where I play."