Previously, Autry attended three football games at UNC, including last season's memorable win over NC State. The 6-foot-2, 279-pound defensive tackle from Albemarle (N.C.) has noticed a continued effort by UNC to improve its game atmosphere.
"I loved it," Autry said. "I got kind of hyped for the team. I like the D.J. and the fireworks."
Thursday's experience has only improved UNC chances with Autry, who doesn't plan to make a decision until his senior year.
"I still think North Carolina is No. 1," Autry said. "If anything it improves their chances. Those guys are out there trying to win. They're fighting and I like that."
Autry can relate. Although its 5-3 record is solid, Albemarle's season has been very un-Albemarle-like. The program is used to dominating its opponents and hasn't lost three regular season games since 2007.
This season, Autry is doing his part. He leads Albemarle in solo tackles (57), total tackles (82), sacks (3.0), and is third on the team in interceptions (two).
"I get a lot of interceptions by reading screens," Autry said. "In my whole career, I have four interceptions."
UNC remains as Autry's lone scholarship offer, but he's receiving attention from Arkansas, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, and Tennessee.
Most visiting recruits arrived on Thursday just before kickoff – if not after – and thus were unable to converse with the UNC coaches. Autry, though, arrived early enough for a meeting with Larry Fedora in his office.
"He just said he'd like to have me up at Carolina," Autry said. "He said I looked good."
On his way out of Fedora's office, Autry bumped into Keith Gilmore, who coaches UNC's defensive line.
"We talked about the game [of mine] that he came to," Autry said. "I lost, so he was like ‘It was a tough game.'"
Autry communicates regularly with Gilmore and Chris Kapilovic. He also stays in touch with close friend and former teammate R.J. Prince, who's a freshman offensive lineman at UNC.
"[Prince] told me if I come to Carolina to make sure I keep on my grades, make class on time, and make practice on time," Autry said. "He was giving me a heads up."
Autry plans to attend other college football games this season, but doesn't have any definite plans or destinations. His schedule could include a return to Chapel Hill, but his focus is visiting elsewhere.