"I feel like [the visit] had a pretty good impact because the only thing I knew about North Carolina [prior to the visit] was the coaching staff. But having the opportunity to go to Chapel Hill and visit for a weekend it gave me a chance to look around and see all the facilities, the training table, experience the environment of the community, and get to see the campus."
Peterson, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman from Auburn (Ala.), has been verbally committed to Southern Miss since August.
"I'm still committed, but the coaching staff there knows that I've reopened my options up and I want to take a look at some schools and see what happens," Peterson said.
Within the next couple of days, Peterson will make a decision – stick with Southern Miss, commit to UNC, or continue to officially visit other schools.
"I still have to talk everything over with my parents, but I definitely like everything about North Carolina," Peterson said. "I'm going to make [my decision] as soon as possible. I feel like my decision will be made soon. We're going to talk about what I want to do whether it's North Carolina or if I want to keep taking my visits."
Tentatively, Peterson is scheduled to officially visit Mississippi the weekend of Jan. 27 and he is also considering trips to Southern Miss and Tennessee.
What won't factor into Peterson's decision is his brother, who is currently a red-shirt freshman at Southern Miss.
"I'm not going to base my decision on where my brother is," Peterson said. "This is kind of selfish sounding, but it's about me and where I want to be happy. It's not anybody else's five years – it's mine."
Accompanied by his parents, Peterson arrived in Chapel Hill on Friday.
"Really, we ate a lot," Peterson said. "They really feed us as much food as possible.
"We toured all their [football] facilities, all their academic facilities, we met with people in the field I want to go into [genetics or biology]. We got to meet players. We got to see the weight room and everything they have to offer – the locker room, football facilities, and toured the campus. And I learned about their campus history.
"Everything was very impressive."
Throughout his stay, Peterson spent the most time with UNC assistant coach Chris Kapilovic.
"Coach Kap and I have known each other for three years," Peterson said. "He recruited my brother to Southern Miss and he recruited me there for two years. I know all the Xs and Os, so we can just kind of hang around and be friends and talk about the campus. I know just as much [about UNC] as he does."
Sophomore center Russell Bodine was Peterson's campus expert and player host for the weekend.
"It was fun [spending time with Bodine]," Peterson said. "He was someone I could relate to and learn a lot from, because that's the position I'm going to play at."
Peterson closed out the visit with a meeting with Larry Fedora.
"He told me that they need me to help turn the tide there," Peterson said. "He just told me how they want to win a championship."