Dalton Comparing Finalists

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- Despite recently taking an official visit to North Carolina, rumors began to circulate that Jalen Dalton was leaning towards one of his co-finalists. The four-star defensive end says that's not true.

“I’m waiting to take my official visit to Virginia Tech and then I’ll decide,” Dalton said. “I honestly couldn’t tell you [how soon I’ll decide]. I’ll decide when I actually know. I’ll sit down and talk to my family about it. It’s just whenever I know, honestly.

“I just want to take it all in when I get [to Virginia Tech for the official visit]. I want to compare apples to apples when I get to Virginia Tech.”

Dalton, 6-foot-6, 240-pounder from West Forsyth, will make the “apples to apples” comparison between his UNC official visit from Oct. 4 and his upcoming Virginia Tech official visit on Nov. 1. Amid those trips, he reiterated that UNC and Virginia Tech are in a dead heat and neither holds an edge.

During his UNC official visit, Dalton watched Virginia Tech convincingly defeat UNC, 34-17. He says the game’s outcome won’t factor into his collegiate decision.

“I went to the game and hung out with the guys after,” Dalton said. “They try to impress you and they try to woo you. I was prepared for it.”

Previously, Dalton had made countless visits to UNC, including for games and even a couple overnight stays in which he spent a great deal of time with current players. Thus, it was difficult for the Tar Heels coaching staff to assemble an official visit itinerary that included something he had yet to see or experience. The staff succeeded, though, by providing a tour of the business building. He plans to major in business in college.

“I just took it all in,” Dalton said.

Fellow defensive lineman Nazair Jones was Dalton’s player host during the weekend.

“We had a good time,” Dalton said. “We did a lot of the same things. He told me that if I work hard, I could play early.”

Dalton’s stay concluded with a meeting with Larry Fedora.

“He just told me the exact thing he’s been saying to me: if I commit there, we could do special things,” Dalton said. “He talked about how important it was to keep the best in-state players home. He talked to my mom a lot, mostly.”

Besides his mother, Dalton’s older brother accompanied him on the visit.

This Saturday, Dalton “might” return to UNC for the Tar Heels’ night game against Georgia Tech. If he does, he would have attended each of UNC’s first four home games.

More definitively, Dalton plans to visit Virginia Tech the following week for its Thursday night game against Miami. Coupled with his official visit the following week, he would travel to Blacksburg in consecutive weeks.

UNC and Virginia Tech staffs aren’t the only groups recruiting Dalton. He also communicates regularly with Tar Heel pledges Juval Mollette, Anthony Ratliff-Williams, and Mason Veal, as well as Hokie commitment Trevon Hill.

“A lot of fans mention me on Twitter a lot, but that doesn’t really matter to me,” Dalton said. “The players are going to be the people I’ll play with and be around 24-7, so that has an effect. And [commitments and I] talk a lot.”

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