UNC Takes Lead for Collins

Cayson Collins has made four visits to North Carolina. None, though, have left a greater impression on him than Saturday's junior day.

"It was actually a lot more fun [than prior visits to UNC]," Collins said. "It's hard to describe. The coaches had a lot of things planned out that were actually a complete surprise to me. I asked Coach [Gunter] Brewer earlier in the week what we had planned, because they asked us to be there at 5 o'clock and the [basketball] game didn't start until 9. He told me it was a surprise. But once I actually got there, I enjoyed myself and had a real good time."

Prior to Saturday's junior day, Collins, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound linebacker from Charlotte (N.C.) Berry Academy was torn between in-state rivals UNC and NC State. Slowly, but surely, the Tar Heels are pulling ahead.

"Chapel Hill is definitely starting to separate itself," Collins said. "I still have to go down to Clemson [and] go to other schools to see what they have to offer. But, Chapel Hill is definitely starting to separate itself. I would say that they're leading."

With a leader in hand, a decision is likely to occur sooner rather than later for Collins.

"I still have lot of things to think about," Collins said. "I still have a lot of things to talk about with my parents and my family. I feel like I'm zoning in on a decision sometime soon. I can't say when, but I know in my mind that I'm going to make a decision soon. But I'm still taking it day-by-day."

Collins, who has also visited Clemson and NC State, hasn't established plans for his return trip to Clemson.

"I haven't looked at the schedule, but that's the next trip if any that I'm going to take," Collins said.

Collins admits there's a chance he might be finished taking visits.

When asked what activities from Saturday stood out, Collins rattled off a few, starting with the cornhole tournament.

"Everybody in the room has a competitive nature," Collins said. "Nobody wants to lose, so it made it more exciting. Everybody was talking trash. It was a lot of fun."

Collins also liked when he and the other junior day visitors were escorted to UNC's locker room where they were able to try on Tar Heel gear, including jerseys and helmets.

"The way they had it laid out, I have never seen anything like it," Collins said. "They had a locker with my number and gloves. That made me feel pretty special. When I was putting on the jersey, it was almost like a dream come true, because it made me feel like I'm this close to playing college football. It's something that I've always wanted to do growing up and it's actually starting to manifest itself."

Lastly, Collins mentioned walking out of the tunnel and onto Kenan Stadium's field.

"As Coach [Larry] Fedora said, we actually got to experience the game day experience," Collins said. "He gave us a little speech before we went out on the field. They had the fight song playing when we came out of the tunnel. They showed us the motivational videos [on the video boards] that they played during the game.

"That was pretty exciting, because growing up you always want to be a part of the entrance coming out of the tunnel. And [Fedora] said that in the Tar Pit they have hundreds of students banging on the tunnel and then the smoke starts up. That's definitely something that I would love to be a part of."

Cayson Collins

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