Linton Weighing Return to UNC

Ty Linton was back at North Carolina's Navy Practice Fields on Tuesday, visiting the site where three years and three months ago he participated in - and then withdrew from - UNC training camp.

"I just finished up playing minor league baseball – I've ended my baseball career," said Linton, who spent three seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. "I'm really looking at getting my degree and go back to school and I still have all four years of eligibility left. So I'm kind of exploring that option."

Linton committed to then head-coach Butch Davis in 2009 and signed with the Tar Heels out of Charlotte (N.C.) Christian as part of the 2010 recruiting class. He enrolled at UNC that summer and began training camp, but after being selected in the 14th round (No. 421 overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft by Arizona, Linton withdrew from UNC and accepted a $1.25 million signing bonus from Arizona, which was able to offer first-round level money when it did not sign its first-round selection.

Linton's goal is to enroll in a school in January and play for its football team. As part of his Arizona contract, the Diamondbacks organization will pay for his college education if he enrolls at a school within two years following his release.

Linton has yet to decide on a school, but plans to make a decision in the next couple of weeks.

"I haven't committed on anything yet," Linton said. "I went up there [on Tuesday] and talked to Coach [Larry] Fedora. I just wanted to see how I could fit into the program and how they see me and what they could use me as. It was just a positive visit. I loved being up there."

At this point, Linton isn't considering any other schools.

"I just wanted to put my name out there," Linton said. "Chapel Hill got back to me, so I'm seeing where this takes me. Chapel Hill is the only school that I did visit. I've always considered myself a Tar Heel, even though I wasn't there for too long. I love that place and I consider it a home for myself. But we'll see what happens."

According to Linton, the UNC coaching staff projects him to play WILL linebacker within its 4-2-5 defensive scheme.

"It's like a totally different team out there," Linton said. "…I like what they have going on there right now. I think I'd fit very well into their scheme."

Now 22 years old, Linton is sporting a 6-foot-2, 228-pound frame.

"I'd be a 22-year old freshman," Linton said with a laugh. "I think in some ways that would be good for me. Not only is my body mature, but I'm mature as a person. You look at things a lot different when you're 22 than when you're 18."

While attending Tuesday's entire practice, Linton was able to reconnect with former teammate and take in the program's current atmosphere.

"Practice is laidback, but they're playing music and they're working hard," Linton said. "They get after it at practice, but it's still a fun atmosphere."

Linton also met one-on-one with Fedora.

"That was my first time meeting him," Linton said. "He's a standup guy, great coach, and I would love to play for him if I had the opportunity. He's a blue-collar guy. He's a hard worker. He's all about hardnosed football and I love that about him."

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