Artis Eager to Get Started

Brandon Fritts, Elijah Hood, Bentley Spain, and M.J. Stewart have long been expected to start their North Carolina careers early by enrolling in this spring semester. However, it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that Allen Artis decided to join them by becoming a mid-term enrollee.

"I kept the option open just by taking the courses I needed to graduate early," Artis said. "And then I just decided late that that was what I wanted to do."

Artis, a 6-foot, 195-pound safety from Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler, says he made the decision to go through with the early enrollment sometime between early to mid December.

"I just talked it over with my parents and we thought it was the best decision," Artis said. "I just want to get on track, get my education started, and just get this football thing jump started. I want to learn the system, learn the calls, and be ready to make plays."

Like his fellow early enrollees, Artis moved up his UNC visit date from Jan. 17 to Jan. 5.

"It's been pretty cool getting acclimated to Chapel Hill and meeting some new people," Artis said. "I've registered for my classes and everything. I can't believe [Wednesday] I'll be attending classes."

After spending a few days on campus with his parents, Artis's feelings towards UNC have only grown stronger.

"It's a really good school academically," Artis said. "And I think we can do big things here football wise."

Football wise, Artis will hit UNC's practice field in a couple of months for spring ball.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Artis said. "I want to make mistakes now so that I can be ready for the season in the fall. To start off, I just want to learn as much as possible about the system so I can be more cerebral with the game. And then I want to make plays when I go out there."

The early enrollment contributed to Artis's decision to skip the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Orlando last Friday. He was already considering sitting out the game to further rest a minor hamstring injury.

"I'm honored to have been selected for it," Artis said. "It means that people see good qualities in me and I'm on their radar. I just have to keep progressing. I just hope I'm selected to a similar game when I'm a senior in college."

Shortly after he decided to accelerate his enrollment, Artis's primary recruiter, Walt Bell, followed Blake Anderson to Arkansas State to take the offensive coordinator position.

"[Bell] is a really good guy, but it really didn't change anything," Artis said. "I didn't make my decision based on a coach. I'd go to UNC anyway even if the entire coaching staff left – it's that good of a school."

Regardless, two UNC coaches made Bell's departure smooth for Artis – Gunter Brewer and Vic Koenning. Brewer played football with Artis's father, Johnny, at Wake Forest and had a hand in securing his commitment, while Koenning, Artis's future position coach, became Artis's primary contact at UNC.

Allen Artis Profile

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