Hatton Commits

Tommy Hatton had a series of visits lined up for the coming week to help him finalize his decision, but he made up his mind before they began.

"I just got off the phone with Coach [Chris] Kap[ilovic] and I committed to UNC," Hatton said on Friday evening. "You can't go wrong with UNC from an academic and football standpoint -- that was the biggest factor in my decision. I knew it was a great school where I could hopefully succeed."

Hatton, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound center from the Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph's Regional selected UNC over fellow finalists Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.

"I really felt good about the Tar Heels this whole time," he said. "They were kind of like the underdog in this situation.

"I just really felt comfortable with Coach Kap and Coach [Seth] Littrell. I just felt really strong with them. There just great guys there and it was just an awesome fit for me and I'm so pumped to be part of Tar Heel Nation."

Hatton said he felt his goals aligned with the program's.

"They have the same objective that I have - that's to win a national championship. And Coach Kap will help me reach my goal to play in the NFL. He's helped so many reach the NFL, hopefully I'm the next one."

Originally, Hatton was scheduled to visit Virginia Tech on Friday, but canceled the trip when he began to contemplate verbally committing to UNC.

"I've been feeling really strong about UNC for a few weeks," Hatton said. "I just felt so strong with UNC, so I didn't want to waste any time, you know? I just knew it was right and I'm really excited.

"I kind of just knew it was the right time for me. I'm going down there in a week, but I just knew that no other school could offer what they could offer, you know? I just knew it was the right decision. I'm really happy."

A scheduled trip to South Carolina has also been canceled by Hatton. He will, though, be in Chapel Hill for Fedora's Freak Show.

The No. 4 center in the nation by Scout.com, Hatton received an invitation to The Opening, the most prestigious national combine. In addition to working out, he plans to recruit future teammates at the event.

"I'm recruiting my boy Chris Clark -- that's my No. 1 objective," Hatton said. "I want to get my boy Chris Clark there.

"Obviously at the Opening, there are going to be the best guys there and I'm going to recruit my ass off. I want to play next to the best."

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