Cohen Returns from UNC, Eyes Decision

Jared Cohen's North Carolina official visit has set the stage for his collegiate decision.

"I'm going to be committing to either Maryland or UNC sometime soon – within the next week," Cohen said. "We'll see what happens from there."

Cohen, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive guard from Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh School, said he is not leaning towards one over the other.

"I'm going to say it's 50-50," Cohen said. "Right now, I'm going home, going to sleep on it, and soak up the entire visit and compare the two schools side by side. I'm going to make an intricate decision based on that. Right now, I'm just waiting to see where my mind takes me."

In December, Cohen officially visited Maryland, the school he was committed to for approximately ten months.

"Overall, I'm going to be thinking about how comfortable I felt, how well I can see myself going there, and being there for the next four or five years," Cohen said. "I'll think about how well I bonded with the team. Mainly, on the officials you get a feel for how the players are.

"Both schools are great schools – there's no doubt about it. So, it just comes down to which one I can see myself going to the most."

One of the differences between Maryland and UNC is proximity from Cohen's family.

"Distance is a factor, but it's not really a huge factor," Cohen said. "I drove down to UNC with my family and it's really not that bad – it's definitely not horrible. Wherever I go, I'm going to have to become a lot more independent. It would be a little more easier if I'm further away."

This weekend's official visit, which Cohen made with his parents, was his first to UNC.

"I had heard the campus was beautiful," Cohen said. "And when I got a tour of the campus and saw the facilities, it lived up to its expectations. The facilities are wonderful. The campus was definitely beautiful. And then on top of that the players on the team were great as well. I bonded really well with all the guys and all the O-linemen. Overall, it was a really good visit."

Cohen was hosted by UNC's starting offensive guards. For Friday and the first half of Saturday, Caleb Peterson was his player host. Landon Turner hosted Cohen for the remainder of his stay.

"They were both really good guys," Cohen said. "I connected with them really well. For the most part, we were just chilling when I was with them. I went back to Caleb's dorm and I went back to Landon's house. We just chilled, talked, and hung out.

"I like talking to the players and seeing why they decided to come to UNC. I got a feel for how they view the school from the player's perspective. I got a lot of information out of them, which was nice."

Included within Cohen's campus tour was the business school, which Cohen plans to pursue in college. He also visited the basketball museum and the Smith Center.

"Believe it or not, when I went to the stadium I met Roy Williams and talked with him a little bit," Cohen said. "That was really cool."

Throughout much of the weekend, Cohen was with Chris Kapilovic, UNC's offensive line coach.

"For the most part when I was around him, we really didn't talk a lot of football," Cohen said. "There was a lot of getting to know each other. The only time we really talked football was in the O-line meeting room and watched some specific techniques that UNC teaches there."

Cohen says that Kapilovic projects him to be an interior lineman for UNC. After playing guard his first two years, Cohen has started at left tackle for McDonogh the last couple of seasons.

Since UNC didn't begin to actively recruit Cohen until late December, Kapilovic and Cohen have had limited time to develop a relationship. Through this weekend's official visit and last week's in-home visit, they've been making up for lost time.

"He's a great guy," Cohen said. "I've built a great relationship with him in the short amount of time that I've known him. I know from talking to the players that he's a really good guy off the field, but on the field he's going to be coaching the O-line hard. That's something to look for, because you can't be that nice, relaxed guy all the time and have your players reach their full potential. Me personally, I think he's really a great coach and he's a great guy that I can definitely see myself playing for."

As is customary, Cohen and his parents closed out their stay on Sunday morning with a meeting with Larry Fedora.

"We just did a recap of the visit," Cohen said. "We told him how good it was. We asked him any questions we had for him. It was a pretty brief meeting. But we talked about how my family and I enjoyed the visit."

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