Dalton Nearing the End

CLEMMONS, N.C. --- Four-star defensive end Jalen Dalton can see the light at the end of the recruiting tunnel.

“Honestly, I’ll probably make my decision late August or early September,” said the 6-foot-6, 240-pounder from West Forsyth High said. “I kind of know [where I’m leaning], but I want to make sure. I want to give it a little time just to make sure it’s where I want to go and make sure my parents like it and they have a good feel for it.”

That decision will be made between finalists Miami, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech.

“I’ve been to UNC plenty of times,” Dalton said. “I know what they’re all about.

“Virginia Tech, they’re a strong defense and my parents love it.

“And Miami is [a finalist] just because of the history they have there and they’re on the come up kind of.”

Dalton may visit Virginia Tech before deciding. If so, he’ll commit shortly after returning from Blacksburg.

“With high school football, [taking visits] is kind of hard to do,” Dalton said.

Most recently, Dalton made his latest in a long line of visits to UNC in July. While Dalton himself has made countless trips to Chapel Hill, the July visit was his mother’s first.

“She liked it,” Dalton said. “They showed her all around campus. She fell in love with it, so that’s always a plus.”

In addition to touring the campus, Dalton and his mother spent time with Keith Gilmore, Dalton’s primary recruiter and UNC’s defensive line coach.

“I’ve been there so much, there’s really not a whole lot they can say to me,” Dalton said.

Dalton is very active on Twitter. Among some of his regular contact is with UNC pledges Juval Mollette, Anthony Ratliff, and Andre Smith.

“We have a little group message going on,” Dalton said.

Also in on that group message is Shy Tuttle, a four-star defensive tackle whom Dalton has befriended through the recruiting process even though their schools are conference rivals.

“[Shy and I] talk here and there [about attending the same college],” Dalton said. “But if we commit to the same place then we commit at the same place. But if we don’t, we don’t.”

Dalton says a possible package deal has been discussed between the two. However, Dalton is unsure which – if any – school Tuttle is leaning towards.

Dalton’s and Tuttle’s finalist lists share just two schools in common – Miami and UNC. And Miami, according to Lexington (N.C.) North Davidson’s head coach Mark Holcomb, is no longer in the picture for Tuttle.

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