Dinkins Coming Out of His Shell

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Tar Heel pledge Robert Dinkins didn't believe there was any way North Carolina could have topped his visit to Chapel Hill for the UNC-NC State football game last fall. He was proven wrong when he attended the Tar Heels' elite junior day on March 9.

"I've been there a lot," Dinkins said. "So I didn't think there was any way they could show me something different, because I thought I saw it all. But they never cease to amaze me.

"They rode you up on golf carts and left you off in the front. And then they did an interview. You walked on the blue carpet and the cornhole tournament – it shows how much fun they are."

Dinkins, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound defensive end from Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic, was somewhat awed at the other junior day visitors who were on campus that day.

"They had the No. 1 defensive lineman in the nation and I don't think I'm even anywhere near that," Dinkins said. "But they made sure I was a part of that. Just for them to show that type of love, it's just amazing."

Dinkins was more than just a visitor. When the group – including recruits, guests, and coaches – packed into the media room for a pseudo press conference, Dinkins was the first recruit asked to take the podium.

"The pressure was definitely on for me to say the right things to the people in the room," Dinkins said. "I was definitely nervous but once I got up there, things kind of flowed for me. I just said what was true when they asked me why I chose UNC. The coaches were funny asking some crazy questions, which calmed my nerves some."

Being an ambassador for UNC is a position Dinkins is finding himself in more and more. He has started to become an extension of UNC's recruiting efforts.

"It's definitely something different," Dinkins said. "I've never been a real vocal person. I've always tried to be one of those silent leaders. For Carolina to lean on me in that aspect and to ask me to reach out [to our recruits], it's definitely something different. It was something I had to get used to.

"When it comes down to it, I'm just trying to better this class and get some guys around me that I feel comfortable playing with. So I'm definitely starting to come out of my shell."

Fellow Charlotte natives Cayson Collins and Elijah Hood are atop Dinkins' list of recruiting targets.

"[Collins] seems to be pretty cool with me," Dinkins said. "Him and I are starting to build a little relationship. I hope he commits, [because] that's the person I want to room with.

"Elijah, he's a huge goof ball. He's a cool guy. I know he's looking at Notre Dame, but I'm working on him hard.

"A lot of the big guys like Da'Shawn Hand, they are hard to break down, because they have their mind set on the Alabamas and schools like that. So it's all a beast of its own."

Selling UNC hasn't been difficult for Dinkins. He just simply shares how he feels about the university.

"When I first started this recruiting process, I always felt like it's a business, which it is," Dinkins said. "But I never felt like I'd find a home. I literally feel like I'm walking the streets of Charlotte when I'm up there. I don't feel like a recruit. I don't feel like a commit. I feel like I'm back at high school with everybody. I feel like I know everybody and I really don't know anybody. Maybe that changes when I get up there."

There's a good chance that Chapel Hill becomes Dinkins's home sooner than expected. He is strongly considering graduating early.

"Of course, it would definitely be real beneficial for me" Dinkins said. "But there's a lot that goes into it… So there's a lot running through my mind right now."

Robert Dinkins Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories