Commitment Reaction: Rivalry Thriller

Four of North Carolina's in-state verbal commitments who were in Kenan Stadium on Saturday shared their thoughts on UNC's 43-35 victory over N.C. State, including the atmosphere and the new helmets.

Thoughts on the victory over UNC's biggest rival:

"First off, there's nothing better than beating State," R.J. Prince said. "We haven't been able to do it for the past five years, so it's great to finally get a win against them. [Saturday] was probably one of the most electrifying games in UNC Football history. We sent a message to NC State and the entire state of N.C. that it's our state. I have next year's matchup marked on my and UNC's calendar for the chance for bragging rights. I'm looking forward for our streak against them."

"That's a big win," Nazair Jones said. "That's a bigger win than the Virginia Tech win if you ask me, because that's an in-state rival. Everybody was talking about how [NC State] won four years straight or five years straight. It's good to break that. It's going to build a lot of confidence for the guys going into the next week. It gives them that swag back."

"I'm glad [UNC] has bragging rights, because State was talking a lot," Jordan Fieulleteau said. "[NC State] had a five-year winning streak, so it was good to break that and Coach Fedora is 1-0 against North Carolina's biggest rival. I think it helped a lot with recruiting, because a lot of good players saw the environment and it was probably the craziest environment I've ever seen at a UNC game."

"I think it was a good win for them coming from the game they just had last week," Khris Francis said. "Of course it's a rivalry game. So it's a big win. State has won it five years straight – I think I read that on someone's shirt. So I think it was really big to break that."

On the atmosphere:

"It was an absolutely crazy environment," Fieulleteau said. "Recruits are able to see the environment UNC is capable of having in a big game."

"There was definitely a big change," Jones said. "That was definitely the most exciting game that I had been to since I was born – it was the most exciting game that I have ever been to. It was so hyped and a great atmosphere and every play could have been a momentum swing. It was like every play counted and everybody was into it the whole time. And then the last play, I had never heard that place that loud before. It was unbelievable."

"This was the first game I've been to where it was just sold out, just packed, and the last few seconds of the game it was just so energetic," Francis said.

"I've never heard Kenan that loud. It was a sellout," Prince said. "The student section was crazy. It was the perfect weather. I got to meet many UNC fans. It was the best game I've ever been to. I got to meet Mitch [Trubisky] for the first time. I chilled with Ryan [Switzer], Lucas [Crowley], Nazair, Khris, and Korrin [Wiggins], and got to meet Da'Shawn Hand. I just had a great time."

What went through your mind during Gio Bernard's punt return?

"When he caught it, I saw the lane, because that's the side that we were on," Jones said. "I was hoping he could get to it and he dang sure did. After that, we all went crazy, because we all saw what was about to happen. You should have seen me, Mitch [Trubisky], and R.J. going crazy."

"I was like ‘Is this really happening right now?'" Fieulleteau said. "I was like ‘This is the perfect way for a close game to end.'"

"I was thinking they won the game, he made a big play when they needed it, there would be no overtime – no pressure," Francis said.

"I thought I better cover my ears," Prince said. "I didn't and I paid for it. Kenan exploded, and Gio in many people's minds became the most electric player in the nation. I already knew he was. Put him up for the Heisman."

Thoughts on the helmets:

"Aw, man, I can't even get words together to explain how I feel about those," Francis said. "I can't wait to wear them. They're really nice. I saw a glimpse of them over the summer, but I didn't know anything about the foot that was supposed to go on them. That was nice. I think it was really creative."

"Those helmets, when I saw them I dropped dead," Prince said. "I was at a loss for words, it got me hyperventilating. So that speaks for itself."

"That was nice," Jones said. "I talked to Coach [Marcus] Berry about that and he said the players didn't even know until they came back in from warm-ups. They just looked really good, because they had the silver with the Navy blue and the Carolina Blue cleats to go with it. That was just a plus. I can't wait until I could wear that stuff. It builds confidence – you feel good if you look good."

"Those were sick," Fieulleteau said. "It was a great surprise for the fans and the recruits. Nobody expected it. I think it plays up into recruiting with different uniforms. It's like the crazy uniforms Oregon uses every week. I think it was good that they brought out the navy blue uniforms – they hadn't brought them out in the last two or three years. Players like to see that and recruits like to see that. It was a great surprise because the helmets were really, really nice."

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