Artis Eager to Make Impact

During his first live game in Kenan Stadium on Saturday, North Carolina pledge Allen Artis received an up close look at how he'd mesh within the Tar Heels' 4-2-5 defensive scheme.

"I feel like I can fit in pretty good," Artis said. "I definitely can see where I can fit in like Coach [Walt] Bell and Coach [Vic] Koenning were saying. And I really think I have a chance to play."

According to Artis, the UNC staff projects the 6-foot, 195-pound safety from Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler to play one of the high safety positions (i.e. strong or free).

"I don't really have a preference," Artis said. "It's just wherever I can get on the field fastest and make an impact."

Artis rotated between strong and free safety for Wheeler. In just six and a half games this past season – he was sidelined with a minor hamstring injury – Artis accumulated 88 tackles, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles.

Saturday's visit also provided Artis his first exposure to the atmosphere at Kenan Stadium.

"It was really cool," Artis said. "I really liked it. It was really hyped. You could feel the rivalry. You could feel the animosity and everything. "

For much of the day, Artis mingled with the large number of fellow UNC pledges that were also on campus. Particularly, he spent the most time with Ayden Bonilla and M.J. Stewart.

"We're developing a great relationship," Artis said. "I can't wait to get there."

Briefly before the game, Artis spoke to UNC's coaches. On his ride home, he phoned Bell and Koenning to discuss UNC's tough two-point loss to Duke.

"They just reaffirmed that they see me coming in and making an impact," Artis said. "They said after the game that they hope I can see where I can fit into the defense. They can't wait to get me up there so that I can learn the system. I hope to make an impact my freshman year."

During a typical week, Artis will communicate with both Bell and Koenning either on the phone or through social media.

Artis believes he won't return to UNC again until his official visit. A date hasn't been set for the official, but the weekend of Jan. 18 has been tossed around.

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