Collins Moves Up Timetable

Following Wednesday's visit to North Carolina, Cayson Collins has moved up his decision date.

"I'm closing in on a decision," Collins said. "Everyone will find out at the spring game on April 13."

Collins, 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker from Charlotte (N.C.) Berry Academy, basically knows where he's going to commit to, but wants to give himself a little more time before making a decision.

"I can say that Chapel Hill has been the leader for a while," Collins said. "And every time I go up there it gives me another reason to choose Chapel Hill over NC State and Clemson."

Along with a group of Charlotte recruits, including UNC defensive end pledge Robert Dinkins from Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic, Collins arrived in Chapel Hill at noon on Wednesday and didn't depart until 8 p.m.

"I'm actually becoming a lot more comfortable when I'm there on campus," Collins said. "I feel like every time I go, it feels more and more like an ‘at home' feel for me, which is really important. Being there with ‘Dink' made it kind of fun."

Having Dinkins by his side for much of the visit only helped UNC's chances.

"It kind of mellowed everything out," Collins said. "Having someone that's my age that's going through the recruiting process that has already made a decision and him and I were already friends before, helped with the comfort level."

Although Collins and Dinkins are friends first, Dinkins is doubling as a recruiter for UNC.

"Every time he talks to me he tells me to stop playing games [and commit]," Collins said with a laugh. "I feel like he's recruiting me more than Coach [Gunter] Brewer is."

Collins has made several visits to UNC in the past. Wednesday, though, was the first time he was able to watch a practice.

"I wanted to see how fast paced [a practice] is," Collins said. "Coach [Larry] Fedora said they like to run 80 plays a game, so in order to do that they have to practice at a high pace. So that was interesting to see in-person."

In particular, Collins focused on the linebacker group, which is coached by Ron West.

"They are very thin at linebacker," Collins said. "That was something that Coach West told me to pay attention to – how I could help the defense, because they have a lot of older guys that are coming back for their senior years. Their speed and how they move is something that they really need to improve on, so he said my talents could be used early on in the defense."

Between practice on Wednesday and what he saw during UNC's scrimmage in Charlotte last week, Collins believes he'll fit like a glove in the Tar Heels' defense.

"I feel like I can come in and make an impact pretty early," Collins said. "I still need to develop and understand the plays, but I think that will come with the coaching."

Besides practice, Collins – accompanied by Dinkins – walked around campus visiting the student store and ate lunch with UNC students. He also discussed academics with Brewer and West, and met individually with Fedora.

"[Fedora] was just asking me if I was enjoying myself there and how everything was going with recruiting," Collins said. "He asked me how I felt about everything. He asked me if I had any questions. He asked me what my comfort level was."

Just before the team hit Navy Field for practice, Collins sat in on a linebacker meeting directed by West.

"It was different, because in high school we don't really spend too much time on one play," Collins said. "We have a limited time to practice. But [West] spent like ten minutes on one play of their [prior] practice. He was going back and forth on little details.

"The way he talks to the guys was different, because they're basically adults. So he basically talked to them with a lot of respect. I thought that was really important."

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