The phone conversation didn't result in a UNC scholarship offer for McLaughlin, a 6-foot-4, 288-pound offensive lineman from Mauldin (S.C.).
"They want to see me," McLaughlin said. "They're going to come and see me whenever the Dead Period ends."
Four Division I-A schools have offered McLaughlin – East Carolina, Florida International, Marshall, and Wake Forest.
McLaughlin has narrowed his focus to East Carolina, Marshall, UNC, and Wake Forest. All four schools are equal, but a scholarship offer from UNC would catapult the Tar Heels into the leader position.
"I was born a North Carolina Tar Heel fan," McLaughlin said. "My parents are North Carolina Tar Heel fans. I'm from Virginia and just moved to South Carolina - most of my family are Tar Heel fans.
McLaughlin has an official visit scheduled with Marshall for the weekend of Jan. 13 and East Carolina the weekend following. He's in the process of setting up an official visit with Wake Forest and will officially visit UNC if asked.
This past fall, McLaughlin has attended two games at UNC – versus Wake Forest and Duke.
"The fans are crazy up there," McLaughlin said. "The facilities are real, real nice. It was a pretty good experience being there – seeing them come out the tunnel was pretty cool."
With the 2009 class, UNC signed Josh McKie out of Mauldin High School. After red-shirting his freshman year, McKie transferred to Tusculum College, a Division II school in Tennessee.
"I talked to him some," McLaughlin said. "He told me it's a great place. He had a situation that forced him to transfer. I actually last saw him on Christmas day."
While he doesn't have exact decision date, McLaughlin expects to make a verbal commitment before Signing Day.
"When I'm looking at the school, it will come down to how I feel about the coaches and how I feel about the players and the education part," McLaughlin said.
A Shrine Bowl selection, McLaughlin is a two-year starter for Maudlin at left tackle.
"North Carolina said I could play anywhere – guard or tackle," McLaughlin said.