Veal Aims to Enroll Early

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- North Carolina verbal commitment Mason Veal hopes he’ll be a January enrollee.

“We’re still working on that,” Veal said. “I know [UNC] had four early enrollees sign already… Right now, it’s looking pretty good, but we’re still proceeding with caution.”

Veal, a 6-foot-6, 291-pound offensive tackle from Ardrey Kell High School, is one credit shy of graduating – and he’ll fulfill that requirement during the fall semester. But the UNC coaching staff is unsure if it’ll have a scholarship available for Veal during its spring semester.

“They don’t want to over commit to me,“ Veal said. “They don’t want to say ‘Hey you can come early’ and then in November saying, ‘Oh wait, we actually don’t have room.’”

Per NCAA rules, colleges have to stay under the scholarship limit year round – not just during the football season. Thus, for each new player that enrolls in January, one must come off scholarship in December (e.g. graduate, leave early for the NFL, etc.).

Without knowing when he’ll actually enroll at UNC obviously puts a lot in limbo for Veal, including when he’ll take his official visit. If he’s an early enrollee, he’ll officially visit Chapel Hill during the season – and is eyeing the weekend of the NC State game (Nov. 29). Otherwise, he’ll likely take his official visit after the season.

For the time being, Veal is concerned with early season unofficial visits. He says he’ll attend either the game against Liberty or San Diego State, if not both.

“I’m going to get up [to UNC] as much as I can,” Veal said.

Veal last visited UNC for Fedora’s Freak Show.

“I love being around [William] Sweet and [Tommy] Hatton, because they’re going to be my teammates in the future,” Veal said. “It was really good just kind of knowing what to expect with Coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic] and just getting to work with him a little bit more.”

O-line commits weren’t the only pledges Veal spent time with that weekend.

“From [Anthony] Ratliff, who’s been committed, to Juval [Mollette], who committed that night, it was just fun hanging out with [the UNC pledges],” Veal said. “Even after we camped and we hung out at the dorms. It was a lot of fun.”

“We’re still working on McGirt,” Veal said. “I have faith the guy is going to come back home... I’m also working on Jalen [Dalton] and Bryce Love trying to get them to become Tar Heels.

“A lot of them have been around the program as much as me – if not more. I just remind them of the family aspect of it, because a lot of them do feel at home when they’re in Chapel Hill.

“I think the chances are pretty high with Jalen… I’m feeling pretty good about him, lately.”

Veal’s leadership extends beyond recruiting. He has truly taken on the role of senior leader for Ardrey Kell, according to head coach Adam Hastings.

“I probably haven’t been around too many players that have matured as much as he has in a year,” Hastings said. “His maturity from this point last year to this point this year is incredible. It’s a testament to his desire to be the best. I couldn’t be any happier.”

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