At first, I was going to take my North Carolina official visit the weekend after my East Carolina official. Instead, I took it the last weekend of January. My teammate C.J. Curry, who was verbally committed to Oklahoma State, was going to go on the UNC official with me (or at least I was trying to talk him into it). If I had gone the week before, he wouldn't have been able to go with me because he was going to Oklahoma State.
That whole plan didn't really work. C.J. thought about taking the visit, but he didn't end up officially visiting anywhere else. I think Oklahoma State told him he couldn't visit anywhere else.
Visiting the last weekend without C.J. wasn't such a bad thing. They told me there would be a lot of recruits in the last weekend and a lot of commits, too. Davonte Neal was the main uncommitted guy for me that weekend. They told me about him and I got a chance to look him up.
I think Davonte's decision had a lot to do with his parents, which isn't a bad thing. But he told me that he would love to go to North Carolina. He said he liked the college better than anywhere he'd been to. I don't know how much of a chance we had with him, but we tried.
My parents and I drove up a day early and watched the North Carolina-NC State basketball game. We paid our way that night (we just stayed in a hotel my dad booked). We went to the game, because my mom really wanted to do that. I actually had been to a game before – I've been to a Wake Forest-North Carolina game. The UNC-NC State game was a great game and we blew them out. For my mom, it was her first. She didn't realize how crazy North Carolina fans were.
Friday was when my official started. We went to lunch with all the coaches and Davonte Neal at Top of the Hill. They took us into the basketball museum. They let us go into the Dean Dome. We got to talk to Coach Roy Williams and meet a few of the players, which was pretty cool. Davonte and I got to watch practice.
Coach Williams just has so much character. I couldn't believe he handled himself that way at practice. I thought he would be throwing chairs like Bobby Knight. But he was nothing like that.
They took us back to our hotel, we got ready, and that night we went to Bailey's. All the other recruits came in that night. Everybody was there – the players were there, the coaches, the other recruits. We ate, talked and mingled with everybody. And then we went out with the players that night.
The next day, we had some breakfast, they had some guest speakers talk to us, we went and toured the campus, and we talked to some professors. Then we ate lunch at Spanky's, which was real good. After that, we got to chill at the hotel and then that night the players took us out again. At the same time, my parents were with the coaches and went somewhere real nice and had desserts.
The next day, each of the recruits had a meeting with their position coach and then with Coach Larry Fedora. And then we got out of there.
Overall, they did a great job with the official visit. They really do you right with the meals. Your entire weekend is scheduled out to the minute. You're trying to meet as many people and trying to get to know the area and the college in a short period of time. There are definitely some times when you wish you could sit down and watch some TV and chill out a little bit, because it's a busy weekend. But it's worth it with it being so scheduled, because you really want to do all that stuff and you only have a little time to do it.
The entire weekend you're with the other visitors the whole time. I was with Kendrick Singleton, Monte Taylor, Davonte, Damien Washington, and Junior Gnonkonde the whole time. Kendrick, Monte, and Junior committed on the visit. Junior, I remember talking to him and he was telling me that he loved it and he was originally committed to Georgia Tech and they did him wrong. He said he knows we'll get to play Tech and I was laughing about that.
When I officially visited East Carolina, even though I was committed to them at the time, my heart just wasn't in the school. But my feeling with North Carolina was it felt right. I just knew I wanted to be there. Everybody says "Think about it as if you weren't going there to play football. Would you go there?" I definitely would. I think it's a great school.
Kanler Coker Journal: The Official Visit
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