Commitment Q&A: Jalen Dalton

CLEMMONS, N.C. --- Immediately after making the announcement that he's going to be a Tar Heel, four-star West Forsyth HS defensive end Jalen Dalton talked to about his decision ...


Why UNC?

“I just got the home vibe. The coaching staff, they did a great job recruiting me. And it felt like home.”

When did you make the decision?

“After my official visit to Virginia Tech I just felt in my heart [UNC] was where I wanted to be.”

What was it about the official visits that lead you that direction?

“Just where the [UNC] coaches told me they could develop me to be a great player – that affected me a lot.”

You visited UNC a lot. How much of a role did that play into your decision?

“Just knowing they didn’t put on a show the first time or the second time. It was just great every time I went.”

Was there a particular visit that began the swing to UNC?

“I just feel like the official visit wrapped it up. On all the visits, I just got a good vibe – never a negative thing to say about North Carolina. The official visit wrapped it up and then I prayed about it.”

What role did your relationship with Keith Gilmore play?

“That improved. Instead of talking about football stuff, we talked about personal stuff. And everything is just great.”

Do the UNC coaches know? If so, when did you inform them?

“Yes sir, about 1 or 2 o’clock – somewhere around there.”

What was their reaction?

“They were very, very happy. ”

Did the NCAA investigation or fallout from the Wainstein Report play a role?

“Not really. That’s where I felt most comfortable at and that played the biggest part in my heart. So that’s why I chose them.”

Was Gilmore, and UNC, sending players to the NFL a factor?

“I just hope to be one of those guys.”

Are you going to recruit anyone for UNC?

“I’ll see who they need help with and I’ll go from there.”

Were there a few commits that played a role?

“Probably Anthony Ratliff and Juval Mollette and Mason Veal.”

What was their pitch?

“We just built a brotherhood over time going to games, camps, spending the night. It was a just a bond we built. I guess we’ll have that for four more years now.”

Will you be at UNC’s next two home games?

“Yes sir, I plan on it.”

How did it feel to commit?

“I’m just happy it’s off my chest. I finally don’t have to worry about anything anymore. I’m just relieved now.”

What’s UNC’s game plan as far as when you’ll see the field?

“They just want to see what I develop into in these next few months when I graduate early.”


What type of player is UNC getting in Jalen Dalton?

“I think the great thing about him is his length – there’s no doubt about it. For as big as he is and as long as he is, his upside is tremendous. He’s only 17 years old, so he’ll enter [UNC] at 17. ”

When do you anticipate him seeing the field for UNC?

“I think the good thing for him is he’s going to get there early. So that’s going to give him the chance to start to develop early. Everyone wants him to play, but you don’t want to put him in there just because. You want him to be put in there because he’s worked hard and he’s done the right thing.”

What sort of advice did you provide Jalen?

“All I did was education – that’s all I did. I talked to him about both schools, gave him information about both schools, and just let him go.

“In my 22 years of coaching, I’ve never told a kid where to go to school – I’m not going to do that. I think it’s their decision to make. They have to put their big boy pants on and make those decisions.

“We met last week and he had some more questions. We talked to a few people about those questions and got answers at both schools. And then he made the decision.”

Can you touch on UNC’s recruitment of Dalton?

“Coach [Keith] Gilmore was huge – and I told [Larry] Fedora that today. [Gilmore] was a big part of it. [Dalton] felt very comfortable with him and very, very, comfortable there. Not to say Virginia Tech didn’t do the work, because it was a tough call to make – I can tell you that he struggled to do it. But those guys have done a good job and Gilmore has been good to him and us.”

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