One More Visit for Alston

The light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter for Johnathan Alston. Instead of stating "soon" when asked about an announcement date, the 6-foot-1, 197-pound wide receiver from Bunn (N.C.) now has a clear decision timeframe.

"I'll probably make a decision this upcoming week – sometime after the game," Alston said. "Spots are filling up so fast and I don't want to be left with a decision I don't really want because something else happens."

The game Alston is referring to is the in-state grudge match between his co-finalists North Carolina and N.C. State. The contest will take place this Saturday in Chapel Hill and Alston plans to be in attendance.

Alston is considering holding a press conference to announce his collegiate decision, but hasn't gotten to the point of setting anything up. He plans on going over the situation with his head football coach in the coming days.

Since the end of the summer, Alston has been in a mental deadlock between his co-leaders, searching for something to help break the tie.

"Everything is so equal between the schools," Alston said. "The wide receivers coaches and the head coaches are equal. It's hard."

Besides the coaching situations, Alston is looking to be a part of an offense with a quarterback capable of getting the ball to its receivers. Outside of watching both schools' current starters – one of which, N.C. State's Mike Glennon, is graduating after this season while the other, UNC's Bryn Renner, will exhaust his eligibility the season after – Alston hasn't researched the full depth charts.

Alston revealed that the game day atmosphere will also play a role in his decision. He has previously attended a game at each school, but the comparison wasn't exactly apples to apples. He watched UNC throttle an FCS school, 62-0, in a hot season opener and then was on hand when N.C. State eked out a 17-16 upset of then No. 3 ranked Florida State in a nationally televised night game.

"[The NC State-Florida State game] was a good game with a pumped up atmosphere," Alston said. "The fans were real involved."

The atmosphere in Kenan Stadium on Saturday should provide Alston with a better comparison.

What won't affect his decision, according to Alston, is the game's outcome.

The likely most crucial part of Saturday, with regards to his recruitment, is Alston's meetings with UNC's coaching staff. Since he's taking the ACT early that morning, Alston doesn't anticipate spending significant time with the staff until after the game.

"I want to find out if they still want me like when they first saw me, if I'm the player they need in their offense – stuff like that," Alston said.

Alston communicates weekly with both coaching staffs, whether it is through Twitter or over the phone. At UNC, he speaks most often with Randy Jordan, his primary recruiter, and Gunter Brewer, UNC's wide receivers coach. The dynamic is similar with N.C. State – Alston usually communicates with his primary recruiter (Des Kitchings) and the Wolfpack's wide receivers coach (Troy Walters).

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