James Gets New Look at UNC

During his official visit over the weekend, North Carolina verbal commitment Jarrod James received an up-close look at new aspects of the Tar Heel football program.

"I've already learned about the facilities [and] renovations at Kenan Stadium, but I didn't know much about the academic portion," James said. "I'm definitely going to take advantage of that when I get to the university."

The official visit also provided James, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive lineman from Pikeville (N.C.) Aycock, an opportunity to have his questions answered during meetings with both Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach, and Butch Davis.

"My questions for the coaches were personal," James said. "‘How much of an impact do you have on the players' lives? How do you treat the players on a daily basis?'

"The thing is I want to go to a great university, but I didn't just want to be a football player on the football team – I feel like I'm more than that. I just wanted to see how much of a role Coach Davis plays in the players' lives."

James also received a better idea of how UNC plans on utilizing him.

"They said they want me at guard, but they're going to give me a couple of snaps at center and see how that turns out," James said. "They told me they want me primarily for guard, but I'm going to have to learn a backup position, which would be center."

James' parents attended the official visit with him. His mother arrived on campus with him on Friday evening, while his father came later.

"They were so impressed with how advanced the technology was for the football team," James said. "They got to see the setup in the weight room, how the nutrition is – basically how they build the players physically... And then how they analyze every moment on the field. We watched game film and one clip was of one angle and the next clip would be the same piece of film from a different angle. We were like ‘Wow, they look at every nook and cranny trying to build you up to be the best player you can be.'"

Walk-on offensive lineman Sam Ellis served as James' player host for the weekend. The two hung out on both Friday and Saturday nights.

"Him and I talked about how it is being an athlete and being one of the big guys on campus," James said. "He showed me a good time and he's a good guy. We clicked and we had some real talk about college life."

On Saturday afternoon, James attended the UNC basketball game against Kentucky.

"I was like ‘Wow, this is the college athletic experience right here,'" James said. "You have your whole school out here supporting you doing your thing and they came out here and played a great game and beat a great team."

Being a big offensive lineman, James also raved about the meals.

"The food was good," James said. "Everyday we had great food – that's one of the things that stuck out to me. One day we had the grilled food – burgers, pasta, chicken strips – turn around and have brownies and sundaes. And then on Saturday we had prime rib, shrimp, baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, chicken wings."

This weekend, James will head to Spartanburg to represent the state of North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl.

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