Colon Favoring Two

Heading into the season, Christian Colon possessed a favorite schools list consisting of North Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest. With about a month left in his junior campaign, one of those programs has dropped by the wayside.

“Right now, I like Wake [Forest] and I like Chapel Hill the most right now,” Colon said. “I like the education, they’re close to home, [and] they play against top football teams in the country. The ACC is about to pick up in football.”

UNC and Wake Forest are two of the six schools that have offered Colon, a 6-foot-3, 303-pound defensive tackle from Charlotte (N.C.) Independence, a scholarship. Boston College, NC State, Old Dominion, and Virginia round out his offer list.

Colon, who says UNC and Wake Forest are equal, plans to wait until his Signing Day to announce his collegiate decision – unless something entices him to commit sooner.

“If I do [commit sooner], it would be somewhat of a chain reaction,” Colon said. “Like if a bunch of recruits commit at the same time and we want to build like a dynasty.”

The aforementioned notion isn’t so farfetched. Through the recruiting process, Colon has developed friendships with several fellow 2016 recruits, including Zack Gilbert (Charlotte (N.C.) South Mecklenburg), Moe Neal (Gastonia (N.C.) Forestview), and Robert Washington (Huntersville (N.C.) SouthLake). Colon says that they have discussed forming an alliance that commits to the same school.

“Those boys I do all my traveling with,” Colon said. “Every time I go on a visit, it’s most likely with those boys right there.”

Case in point: when Colon attends Wake Forest’s upcoming Thursday nighter against Clemson, he’ll be accompanied by Gilbert; and when he attends the rivalry game between Ohio State and Michigan on Nov. 29, Colon will make the trek with Neal and Washington.

It’s no coincidence that the aforementioned group each plays in the greater Charlotte area. Thus, the pipeline UNC has established recently between Chapel Hill and the Queen City could come into play.

“When I go up to Carolina, I talk to [Robert] Dinkins to see how he likes it,” Colon said. “My boy [Anthony] Ratliff is committed there and he’s trying to get me to commit there too.

“But, people commit for their own separate reasons. If I commit, it will be for my own reasons alone. But it definitely makes me more comfortable with the situation at Carolina [having friends on the team].”

Speaking of Ratliff-Williams, he and Colon will be opponents in ten days for a battle between Associated Press 4A Top 10 teams that will determine the Southwestern Conference’s champion.

“Independence and Butler has always had a great tradition,” Colon said. “… All game, I’m going to be talking junk across the line and I’m going to try to hit him as hard as I can. It should be a real good matchup, because Ratliff, he can scramble [and] he can throw that thing, too. But I have faith in my defense to put me in position to make plays.”

Colon’s interest in UNC received a major boost a few weeks ago when he attended the football game against Virginia Tech. It was his first college game of the season and second in Kenan Stadium.

“It was phenomenal,” Colon said. “This time, I was the main point of attention. Carolina really loves me. Every time I go up there, I get a bunch of love. Besides the loss, the team – the defensive line especially – looked well... The Carolina vibe was real cool.”

During the visit, Gunter Brewer, who recruits Charlotte for UNC, served as Colon’s escort. After checking in, Brewer ushered Colon into Larry Fedora’s office for a quick meeting with the Tar Heels’ head man.

“[Fedora] said with my playing style, I’ll have a chance to play my freshman year,” Colon said. “He likes that I come from Independence, because he knows that Independence puts out great athletes, like Hakeem Nicks and DeVonte Holloman. He knows what we’re bringing to the table. We know how to lift, we know how to play, [and] we’re smart football players.”

Colon also spent time with Keith Gilmore, UNC’s defensive line coach, in his office.

“I got a chance to just relax and catch up,” Colon said. “He broke down the game plan for the D-line against Virginia Tech. And he asked me about my game the day before and how I played. And he asked me about my mom.”

After the game, Colon was brought into UNC’s locker room to talk to the players.

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