Collins Has Weekend of a Lifetime

Cayson Collins relied on one word to summarize his North Carolina official visit: amazing.

"It was amazing," the four-star prospect said. "Honestly, that was probably one of the best weekends of my life."

Collins, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker from Charlotte (N.C.) Berry Academy, credits being able to spend significant time with current UNC players for making it such a special visit.

"It was a lot of fun just chilling with them," Collins said. "We went out, had a lot of fun, and they just showed us a really good time."

The list of Tar Heel players Collins spent time with included Kedrick Davis, Quinshad Davis, Junior Gnonkonde, and Jessie Rogers.

Davis, who was a senior at Berry Academy when Collins was a sophomore, was Collins's player host for the official visit.

"He showed me a really good time," Collins said. "Him and I talked about the school a lot – how the academics were, how the campus life was. During recruiting, the coaches at every school paint this picture about how perfect it is to live on campus. But he gave me real talk. And then he told me what training camp was like and Blue Dawn was like. Because him and I went to the same high school, he compared my high school conditioning and weightlifting program to what it's like at Carolina. And then he told me how I could be prepared both mentally and physically."

Regarding Blue Dawn, UNC's winter conditioning program, Collins is feeling different emotions.

"I'm more excited than scared," Collins said. "I'm nervous, because even with their description about how everything is, I still don't know what I'm getting myself into. The players were telling our parents that training camp and Blue Dawn are probably the most [difficult] parts of the whole season. But honestly I'm excited about it."

Collins's three days in Chapel Hill, which he enjoyed with his parents and two younger siblings, weren't exclusively consumed with future teammates. He also spent a great deal of time with the UNC coaches.

"Whenever we were eating or whenever they were doing presentations, I was always around Coach [Gunter] Brewer," Collins said. "He told me to make sure I finished the year out strong academically and making sure I'm ready physically when I get there. Honestly, all the coaches kept telling me to make sure I was ready when I get there because they want me to hit the ground running."

Before departing for home Sunday morning, Collins met with Larry Fedora.

"He talked about how important it was to really finish strong," Collins said. "He told me to hurry up and get there. He was just telling me about how excited they were to have me, what they expected from me, and how they were going to work me. He said that everyone sees the highlight but they don't see the progress of the work."

Based on his conversations with UNC coaches, Collins believes he'll see time on special teams as a freshman. Personally, Collins expects to compete for playing time on defense.

"I know I'm going to play linebacker, but I don't know which linebacker," Collins said. "Honestly, it doesn't matter. With the guys in my class, I feel like we have a great group of linebackers coming in. I've seen Malik Carney's and Ty Tomlin's highlight tapes and I think we can make plays."

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