Visit 'Reassures' Rashad

North Carolina pledge Shakeel Rashad has visited Chapel Hill several times in the past. This past weekend's official visit, though, provided him the first chance to spend significant time with current Tar Heels.

"Other times that I've come, it was at the beginning of camp or going into practice, so I didn't get to really spend much time with [UNC's players]," Rashad said. "But this time I got to spend Friday night with some of the red-shirt guys and Saturday night with the regular players. So I got to hang out with a lot of people and see what really goes on during the week and on the weekend. And I got to see a lot of preparation for the game."

The player Rashad, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker from Jacksonville (Fla.) Episcopal, spent the most time with was host Kareem Martin, a sophomore defensive end.

"I walked into [Martin's] room and I realized he was into video games like me – maybe not quite as much, but maybe I'm into them too much," Rashad said. "He had the ‘Michael Jackson Experience,' so that was fun."

With Episcopal on a bye week, Rashad was able to begin his UNC official visit on Friday afternoon. That allowed him to take part in UNC's game preparation routine.

"I went through the entire pregame routine," Rashad said. "Really, as soon as I showed up Friday, everybody was focused on the game. Everything from then on was centered on the game."

After receiving an in-depth look at the game plan on Friday from defensive coordinator Art Kaufman, Rashad saw it play out on Saturday resulting in a 49-24 victory over Wake Forest.

"The game plan was executed pretty much perfectly almost," Rashad said. "I really loved it. The game day atmosphere was great."

Rashad's meeting with Kaufman wasn't exclusive to UNC's game plan, though.

"He just showed me where he saw me fitting into [the defense]," Rashad said. "We also talked and caught up."

Rashad also met with Everett Withers just before heading to the airport Sunday morning.

"We just kind of talked really not even much about football – just about life," Rashad said. "I've been talking to him on a regular basis, so I didn't really have questions about the school. I'm definitely committed to them."

As a matter of fact, Rashad said the official visit "reassured" his feelings about UNC.

"I knew the whole time that this was where I wanted to be," Rashad said. "But just walking around just made me realize that I made the right choice. I wasn't changing my mind, but this just made me realize I made the right decision."

With those strong feelings as ammunition, Rashad decided to help UNC's recruiting efforts – specially fellow official visitors and Jacksonville natives Reggie Northrup and Joe Jackson.

"Reggie and Joe are great linebackers and we had met before – I've been seeing those guys at combines around the city for a long time," Rashad said. "I was trying to get them to come up here, telling them how much fun it would be, and we'd be great working together.

"I'm not sure how well I did, but they both said they had a lot of thinking to do after this visit, because they liked it a lot. The fact that they have to think about it means I was doing my job pretty well."

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