Colon’s top three schools list is composed of three in-state schools – UNC, NC State, and Wake Forest.
“I’m liking NC State a lot because I have former teammates that are up there and they’re giving me their insights,” Colon said. “I have a friend at North Carolina – Robert Dinkins. He’s given me some insights. And Wake Forest, when I went up there, I just fell in love with the campus [and] fell in love with the education.”
The fact that all three favorites are in-state schools are a pure coincidence, according to Colon.
“I’m going to go whichever school fits me best,” Colon said. “I don’t care if the school is in Alaska. I just want to get the best education that’s going to mean something after I stop playing football. I don’t want to go somewhere where I’m just a number.”
Colon earned his UNC offer with his performance at the Tar Heels’ camp on Friday. After the camp, Gunter Brewer, Colon’s primary recruiter, arranged a campus tour for Colon and his teammate Kima Bell.
“As I was on the tour [Brewer] came and found me and brought me to Coach [Larry] Fedora’s office with him,” Colon said. “Coach Fedora and Coach [Keith] Gilmore were in there. They talked about me as a person, me as a developing athlete, and then they said, ‘We really like you. You’re the top person on our board in 2016 for D-linemen. So we’re going to offer you.’ I was like, ‘Cool.’”
UNC is the fourth school to offer Colon. Kentucky, NC State, and Wake Forest had previously offered him. He’s also receiving significant interest from Ohio State and West Virginia. After camping in Columbus last month, the Buckeyes appear close to offering.
“Coach [Larry] Johnson’s seen my film and I was actually heavier last year,” Colon said. “He heard about me dropping 30 pounds. He liked me being so much more explosive and fast out of my stance. And I was dominating in the drills [at their camp]. So he was like, ‘Send me your first three games and you got [an offer.]’”
Colon first camped at UNC in June. A day before that performance, he pulled his hamstring while camping at NC State. After a night’s rest, Colon’s hamstring felt fine. At UNC, he ran the 40-yard dash and completed the broad jump before aggravating the hamstring injury during agility work forcing him to end his camp performance prematurely.
Without going through any position drills, the UNC coaching staff couldn’t adequately evaluate Colon and thus didn’t offer at that time. Therefore, Colon decided to return to Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels’ final camp of the summer on Friday.
Colon arrived on Friday with a healed hamstring, but as a precaution spent extra time stretching and skipped the 40-yard dash and broad jump. His focus for the camp was showing Gilmore, UNC’s defensive line coach, what he could do in position and one-on-one drills.
“It was a real eye-opening opportunity,” Colon said. “The first time [I attended camp] I looked at what type of person [Gilmore] was – how he coached his athletes. The second time, it was more him working with me in a one-on-one situation.”
In addition to UNC, NC State, and Ohio State, Colon camped at Clemson, Tennessee, Wake Forest, and West Virginia this summer. He’ll wrap up his summer trips by traveling across town to UNC-Charlotte within a week.
During the football season, Colon plans to attend South Carolina-Georgia in Columbia on Sep. 13, NC State-Florida State in Raleigh on Sep. 27, Wake Forest-Clemson in Winston-Salem on Nov. 4, and Ohio State-Michigan in Columbus on Nov. 29. He also will visit UNC for at least one game, but hasn’t determined which one.