Dinkins Meets Gilmore

Tar Heel pledge Robert Dinkins spent Saturday with his future position coach, Keith Gilmore.

"It went pretty good," Dinkins said. "Coach Gilmore and I got a chance to get a little relationship started, because I was mostly with him all day."

Dinkins, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound defensive end from Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic, verbally committed to UNC last June – days after he earned a scholarship offer at the Tar Heels camp. At that time, Deke Adams was UNC's defensive line coach. When Adams departed for South Carolina in January, UNC hired Gilmore from Illinois.

During UNC's January junior day, Dinkins quickly exchanged pleasantries with Gilmore, who had just arrived in Chapel Hill that day. That was the only interaction the two have had prior to Saturday.

The two coaches Dinkins communicates the most with – Larry Fedora and lead recruiter Gunter Brewer – were out of town on Saturday. Thus, Saturday was exclusively for Dinkins – and his parents, who accompanied him – and Gilmore.

"He definitely seemed like a more laid back kind of guy," Dinkins said. "He's more of an observant type – he just kind of sits back and observes."

Their conversations were introductory in nature.

"Since he's new to the area, we talked about North Carolina in general," Dinkins said. "We talked about my position – what kind of position I'd be playing there; we talked about the depth chart a little bit; and we definitely talked about Carolina basketball."

Carolina basketball came up because Dinkins and Gilmore attended the UNC-Virginia basketball game Saturday afternoon

"My family sat on the other side and Coach Gilmore and I sat side-by-side and we were talking the whole game," Dinkins said.

It was Dinkins's first UNC basketball game.

"It was definitely pretty cool," Dinkins said. "It was kind of weird, because it was different than I expected. I felt like college [basketball] was a totally different experience. But going to the basketball game and seeing some of the alumni there and the students, it kind of gave me the high school feel. I felt like it was high school, but on a different level.

"Every time I go up there, I get more and more comfortable. That [feel] was definitely one of the things that made me feel more comfortable. I felt like I was walking back home in high school."

Following an offer from childhood favorite Clemson last football season, Dinkins considered exploring his options – and even made a visit to Clemson for a football game. However, he solidified his commitment after attending the UNC-NC State football game.

"I really don't want to go anywhere else – that's for sure," Dinkins said. "North Carolina is my home and I want to do great things there. So I definitely don't want to go anywhere else. Carolina is the only place I'll visit from this point on."

Those feelings haven't stopped other schools from recruiting Dinkins.

"NC State is kind of ridiculous," Dinkins said. "They've been all over me since they got new coaches. But other schools are starting to come in the picture like Miami and Georgia. Those schools are starting to scratch the surface a little bit, but nothing too crazy. But like I said, it doesn't really matter who comes – I'm still Carolina."

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