Signing Day Quotables: Choosing Carolina

North Carolina's Class of 2012 signees discuss their reasons for choosing the Tar Heels ...

Kanler Coker

"North Carolina was the school that I've loved growing up. I had North Carolina gear [and] pictures of me being at North Carolina when I was little. I've always been in Georgia and my family is Georgia fans, but I've always loved UNC. It's my dream school and where I've always wanted to go. It's just a great opportunity – not even just the football part, but the education is just phenomenal."

Kedrick Davis

"I just loved it – I loved the place. It just seemed like a great fit for me. It's close to home and they're a great team. The academic part is great. I have gotten so comfortable and accustomed to everything at North Carolina."

John Ferranto

"Once I got down here, my mom loved it, my dad loved it. There was just no reason not to commit. I loved everything about it. I was just wasting people's time if I was just to sit there and say ‘Hey, I want to take more visits.' I fell in love with the school right there."

Junior Gnonkonde

"I liked everything. It's a good school, good football program, and I like the coaches. "I feel very good to know where I'm going to be going to school for four years."

Clint Heaven

"They have a great coaching staff that just came in. It's a great academic school. It's in a great location. There's a great chance of playing early. And it's a place I could see myself. I wanted to be a Tar Heel for the next four years."

Jon Heck

"UNC is a great place to live but it's also a great program and I really believe we can compete for a national championship. They're definitely a winning program with solid players and I really think they're doing it right over there. "I love Chapel Hill the town. They're a great group of guys -- one of the main reasons I committed was because there's such a great group of guys. I can tell they're definitely people I want to be teammates with and they're really good players so I could really learn from them. Every time I go to Chapel Hill, it gets better every time."

Joseph Jackson

"Once you get around and see all these schools, officially and unofficially, you kind of see where you belong. Looking back on all the other schools that I was considering, I had already been to those schools two or three times and those visits weren't as good as when I went to North Carolina. The academics -- when I went up there, I never saw so much committed to one major – that's really what sold me. I feel like at North Carolina, you get both a cold and warm climate. Like I said before, the academics are wonderful. The football team is wonderful – the ACC is a tough, competitive conference."

Tyreece Jiles

"I liked everything [about UNC] -- I really liked the school so much when I visited. I love the location – the distance is not far from home. It has a great educational reputation. [The game atmosphere] was incredible. The crowd was so loud – they're diehard fans."

Terrance Knox

"I just knew the right decision in my heart was Carolina. I feel like I'm part of the family down there [at UNC]. And, also, the degree they offer was key – they have one of the top business programs in the nation. And it's close by – if my family wants to come see me play, it's only an hour and a half away."

Dan Mastromatteo

"I got to see the [school] atmosphere – going around campus – and also I got to see the game – that was great just to see what they do before the game and the game day rituals. They love their sports around there and they love their football. [My parents] were blown away by the facilities, the coaching staff, the stadium – and just everything. They loved it and they didn't want to leave. Being there and watching the game and seeing the team run out of the tunnel, it just got me really excited. I can't wait until I get down there."

J.J. Patterson

"It was my dream school, it just had a family feeling, and I just knew it was the place for me. To make it simple: it was my dream school. If you have a chance to go to your dream school, I don't see why not."

Caleb Peterson

"It's a beautiful place. They have amazing academics. I love the coaches. Everybody was real nice to be and made me feel real welcome 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. The coaching staff I know will win there. They've got a lot of talent there -- they've got really good guys."

Shakeel Rashad

"I really loved the campus, as well as the size of the school – it's about 17,000 students. It's not too big and it's not too small – the big college experience with the small college atmosphere, basically. Also, the facilities are great, all the coaches are great, and now I know the players are great. It's just a good environment to be in. I knew the whole time that this was where I wanted to be. But just walking around [the campus] made me realize that I made the right choice."

Jessie Rogers

"Whenever I was talking to my mom as we were going through the recruiting process, she would always tell me that there would be that one school that I would feel is right for me. We visited a whole bunch of other schools on unofficial [visits] and I just never got a good feeling or good vibe -- until I went up to North Carolina. When I saw all the things they were doing, how chilled and relaxed the environment was, and how the team welcomed me. My mom and I took many visits to other schools, but there was just something about this one that blew her mind. She had the same feeling I had and saw it in my eyes when I told her I wanted to make the decision. She really supported me after seeing the whole school. She was just as amazed as I was."

Malik Simmons

"When I went on the visit, it was just a great atmosphere and there were a lot of genuine people. I really liked the coaches and I felt like I fit in with the players. Everyone was genuine. Everybody respected everybody – it was drama-free. I also liked how they are really into academics. They said they were really going to support me and not let me fail."

Kendrick Singleton

"Once I'd seen the place, I realized it's a great place to be. Once I'd seen the place, once I met all the coaches, once I met the players and saw what it was like at North Carolina … I felt at home and I could see myself there. And the education was phenomenal. I said, ‘You know what? It's done. I'm going to be a Tar Heel.'"

Nathan Staub

"I just felt like North Carolina was where I needed to be. There was a lot about it. I love the college atmosphere, great education, the culture down there is good, the coaching staff is good. Everything just kind of came together at North Carolina, I guess, as far as my criteria."

James Summers

"I feel like it's a better place now for me. The new offense that they run over there, and the competition there, I feel like it's a better place for me to go on with my career -- and have a better chance to make things happen up there. "

Monte Taylor

"I liked the visit. I like the atmosphere. It's my dream school – it's my favorite school because of the education and the program. They have a good education; it's better off for my future, not just for football, getting a degree from North Carolina. UNC has always been my dream school."

Justin Thomason

"I liked the coaches and the facilities and I guess I felt at home. Of all the offers I had, I had the most contact and best relationships with those coaches. When I stepped foot in the stadium and walked through the stadium with the head coach. I just knew I wanted to be there. I thought it was big and it was an amazing place. There were big buildings and great history. And it's in a great town."

Damien Washington

"I'm a UNC fan, so it's a dream come true. It's going to be nice and exciting, because I actually get what I've always wanted when I was little. It's a great academic school and a good football program that is putting a lot of people into the NFL.''

Phillip Williamson

"I loved the coaches, academics, and the people. It's a good environment and I love the fan base. It's a dream come true for me – I love Carolina. Since I was little I always liked Carolina, so it wasn't a hard decision for me."

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