However, he elected to sign a pro baseball contract with Arizona. The Diamondbacks drafted Linton in the 14th round and offered him a $1.25 million dollar signing bonus.
He is now pursuing a college football career.
"Obviously [North Carolina is] not going to be too happy getting a call like that, but you can't let others opinions make that decision," said Linton. "I felt like the staff at NC State and the programs at NC State were a better situation for me.
"There may be some bad love there with UNC, but I wasn't trying to play a game with them. NC State wasn't in the picture when I wanted to go there and when they became involved I knew it was a much better situation for me."
Linton signed with North Carolina when Butch Davis was head coach. However, he had a previous relationship with NC State head coach Dave Doeren.
"Honestly, I have history with coach Doeren," said Linton. "He actually gave me my first scholarship offer when he was at Wisconsin. With him being the linebackers coach there he knew what type of a player I could be, and it's good to go where people know you.
"I wasn't recruited by Fedora and his coaches out of high school. I kind of went with history there. I have a history with coach Doeren, and I think it's a better fit honestly."
There have been rumors that Linton chose to go to NC State because he wanted to major in Engineering. He says that isn't the case.
"There's a rumor going around that I'm trying to get an Engineering degree, but I don't know where that popped up," said Linton. "I was looking into a Construction Management degree, but that wasn't just it. NC State was just a better fit for me. I like the school and the scheme they are playing on defense."
Linton has retired from baseball and per his contract with Arizona the Diamondacks will pay for his college education. He confirmed that he will enroll at NC State as an invited walk-on.
"I have two years after the date I stop playing to get my school paid for," Linton stated. "I have over $100,000 in schooling with the Arizona Diamondbacks. I'll be a preferred walk-on with the Diamondbacks paying for my school.
"I'm 22 years old and have five years of eligibility left... it's time for me to play. I feel like I'm mature to where I know what I'm going to study and I can handle being a student-athlete."
Linton, who originally planned on enrolling at NC State in January, says he is now leaning towards a summer enrollment.
"There is still a chance I can enroll in January, we're trying to figure it out," he said. "We're working on it and I'd love to be there in January, but I'm leaning towards a summer enrollment.
"I want to get to NC State and fight for a job. I know they had a couple of guys graduate. It's a good situation for me to come in and fight for a position. The plan is to try and learn all three linebacker spots and go from there."
Linton, who checks in at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, was rated a three-star prospect in the 2010 recruiting class.