Four-Star OL Has Great Visit

Matthew Burrell, a four-star prospect from the 2015 class, made his much anticipated introductory visit to North Carolina on Saturday.

"It was a great, great first visit," Burrell said. "I enjoyed it.

"They're about their stuff. They're on the come up. They're still coming off the [NCAA sanctions] that they had a couple of years ago. Coach [Larry] Fedora is really about his business and they have a lot in store for their future."

Saturday's stay did nothing but help UNC's chances with Burrell, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive tackle from Woodbridge (Va.) Hylton.

"Being that UNC was my first offer and they've shown a lot of love, I'm definitely considering them," Burrell said. "But every school has a chance with me. I'm not focused on who is better than who or who provides what. I'm honestly interested in any school that's interested in me and seeing what they have to offer, because it's an honor to have that [scholarship] offer.

"But Carolina has set itself aside with a beautiful campus, a wonderful coaching staff, and an ambitious [recruiting] class, as well as the fact that they believe in me enough to give me that offer."

Regardless, Burrell doesn't claim any favorite schools.

"Matt really dictates his own pace," Burrell's father, Matthew, Sr. said. "He's definitely really enjoying being along the recruiting trail, but we're still evaluating schools. He's a different child and not just because he's mine. He's really taking a hard focus to everything that a school has to offer."

With that said, Burrell plans to return to Chapel Hill a couple times, but hasn't established definite plans for any future UNC visits.

"I don't think you can ever see anything on one visit," the elder Burrell said. "… The one thing that we did notice with North Carolina was they had almost four freshmen at the offensive line position playing significant snaps."

In addition to UNC, Burrell has visited Maryland, Michigan, NC State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. Like UNC, he plans to make return trips to some of the aforementioned schools. In the meantime, he and his father are finalizing the remainder of his in-season visit schedule with Penn State (vs. Nebraska) and Tennessee (vs. Vanderbilt) under consideration for Nov. 23, and South Carolina-Clemson in Columbia being considered for Nov. 30. They also figure to visit Alabama after the season.

Before his senior year – likely during the summer – Burrell will narrow his focus to a more manageable list of 10-15 schools.

"I know I want to feel comfortable and I want to feel part of a family," Burrell said.

Shortly after arriving in Chapel Hill on Saturday flanked by his family, Burrell was escorted to Fedora's office for a meeting with UNC's head coach.

"We just got to know each other more on a social basis," Burrell said. "We're just trying to build more of a relationship. He talked to me about where he was before and what his goals are for this season and seasons coming. We talked about how I looked at things when it comes to college and my future, as well. And [he mentioned] how important I would be to the program in the future."

Burrell also had a 10- to 15-minute conversation with Chris Kapilovic, UNC's offensive line coach. That conversation coupled with watching the offensive line play on Saturday gave Burrell a basic overview of UNC's offensive line situation.

"[Kapilovic] prepares his line," Burrell said. "It's rare to see that many freshmen playing on the offensive line and be dominant the way they were. He prepared them for everything. It's good to see that and to see freshman play, as well."

Although Saturday wasn't a marquee matchup and UNC easily defeated Virginia, 45-14, Burrell says he loved the game's atmosphere. In particular, he enjoyed the pregame environment, which has been intensified this season by a DJ in the student section.

"I loved the music," Burrell said. "I was dancing on the sideline with Ricky [DeBerry] and Tim [Settle] and my friend, Chris [Lee], who came with me. We were dancing the entire time. There wasn't a second we weren't trying to dance.

"It was a great atmosphere. The fans were very welcoming."

Enjoying that atmosphere with fellow highly coveted Virginians DeBerry and Settle only improved Burrell's experience.

"It was great, because I'm building relationships with them," Burrell said. "I've known Timmy longer than I've known Ricky, but Ricky and I share the same interests in schools."

In addition to DeBerry and Settle, Burrell had conversations with UNC pledges Tyler Powell and Bentley Spain, whom he previously met during previous football functions.

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