Veal Commits to Carolina

The North Carolina football program visited Charlotte (N.C.) Ardrey Kell High School on Friday for a team scrimmage. Shortly after they arrived, Ardrey Kell offensive lineman Mason Veal had a surprise for them -- his commitment.

The 6-5, 288-pounder grew up a South Carolina fan, as both parents played sports for the Gamecocks. But he chose UNC over offers from South Carolina, Clemson, N.C. State, Virginia and West Virginia. He aims to enroll at UNC in January.

"He has a bright future," Ardrey Kell head coach Adam Hastings said. "He has a ton of potential. He's a bright kid, works hard, [and] has a wonderful attitude. He has a big frame. He understands the game pretty well. He does a really good job using his hands. He has a lot of room for improvement, but he's a real hard worker."


At the beginning of the week you said you were split between North Carolina and South Carolina. So what broke the tie?

"Basically, after going up on Monday and seeing the way practice works and being around the team and coaches more, I just felt like Chapel Hill was the place I needed to be."

When did it actually hit you?

"It's been weighing on me for a while now. The more I thought about it, especially after Monday, and I thought a lot through it. Since about Wednesday night I decided to do it tonight."

How did you actually do it, since you can't actually speak to the UNC coaches in-person tonight?

"I called Coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic] and he was about 100 yards away [on the phone]. I told him that I wanted to accept the offer and I was ready to be a Tar Heel."

What was his reactions?

"He was very excited. I think he was a little surprised just because I wasn't really showing my hand one way or the other. I wanted to keep it a surprise. But obviously he was really happy and he went and told Coach [Larry] Fedora and Coach [Gunter] Brewer. They all were really happy that they made this decision."

Obviously South Carolina was under consideration and Clemson was in the mix there, too. What ultimately sold you on UNC?

"I think it was just the feel of the team. They made me feel like I was a part of the time before I was even committed. During the junior day, I ate dinner with some of the players and talked to them. I talked to Caleb [Peterson] when I went out to watch practice.

"And then when I watched practice, I saw how they didn't treat Bentley [Spain] like he was a freshman. They didn't just say ‘He's a freshman, he needs to do this.'"

Your former teammates Corbin Daly and Kyle Murphy plan to walk on at UNC this fall. Were they in your ear?

"A little bit. I'm very close with Kyle, because I play O-line with him. But it wasn't just them; it was everything about North Carolina – the academics, the coaching staff, the team – and I wanted to be a part of that."

UNC has established quite a pipeline recently from Charlotte to Chapel Hill. Why do you think that is?

"I think Brewer is a phenomenal recruiter. I think of all the recruiters, Coach Brewer was far and away the best one. And I think that guys in the city of Charlotte are realizing there's a place that's two and a half hours away offering a lot of things other schools can't whether it's the team, how they play, or academics, which is a big part for me."

What affect did Kapilovic have on your decision?

"Monday really sold me on Coach Kap. I hadn't really seen him in action and sitting in the meeting rooms he was relaxed, he was having fun with guys. But when he got onto the field, he was intense and he was a teacher. He was very much what I'm used to with my coach. He's definitely someone I could see myself getting along with, playing under, and thriving with."

Mason Veal Profile

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