Pride, a 6-foot, 165-pound cornerback from Greer (S.C.), verbally committed to Virginia Tech in late February. A couple of weeks later, UNC offered, which prompted Tuesday’s visit.
“[The UNC visit] doesn’t really affect it at this point,” Pride said. “It was great to get up there at North Carolina and it’s great to have different options to pick the right college. It’s a long recruiting process. Right now, I’m still committed to Virginia Tech and I’m not going to change that any time soon. But it was good to see a different school and see different things so I can find the right place for me and not just have to go on a decision based on one school.”
With that said, Pride not only will still consider UNC, but he plans to return to the school for Fedora’s Freak Show in June.
“I would love to visit UNC one more time, because it was a great visit,” Pride said. “Honestly, I liked it.”
This Friday, Pride will be making a much shorter trip to Columbia to check out South Carolina. The Gamecocks haven’t offered, but Pride is hoping the visit will ignite interest from an in-state program.
“I haven’t really received a lot of in-state attention,” Pride said.
Pride has, though, received scholarship offers from Appalachian State, Marshall, Mercer, UNC, and Virginia Tech.
Pride reached Chapel Hill on Tuesday at about 11 am and remained on campus until midway through UNC’s spring practice later that afternoon. Shortly after arriving, Pride was given a full campus tour.
“They introduced me to different academic portions of the campus, campus life, and what an average student would do,” Pride said. “And then they showed me the football facilities.
“They were great facilities. I like the fact that they have an academic building right close to the football building. That was very impressive. I hadn’t seen that yet [anywhere else]… I just liked the small town aspect of North Carolina with like a lot to do inside of it.”
Throughout his stay, Pride interacted with his primary recruiter Gunter Brewer, who served as a de facto guide. But, he also had lengthy meetings with Larry Fedora and defensive backs coach Charlton Warren.
“Coach Fedora, we honestly just talked about things after football,” Pride said. “Honestly, we never even had a real conversation about what UNC football is about. [Our conversation] was about life after football and different avenues that UNC can offer me. He brought up a good point: you could have a ten-year NFL career and then you’re 32 [years old] and you’ve got to live the rest of your life.”
The football talk was saved for Pride’s meeting with Warren.
“He touched on what his ideal corner would be and the different attributes that they have,” Pride said. “And also all of the schemes that they run – the man bracket coverage that they run, as well as Tampa-Two. We went through a lot of that stuff and how I would fit into that defense.”
Pride got a chance to see Warren in action in a defensive back meeting, as well as on the practice field.
“I definitely liked the fact that he’s in the middle of the field watching everyone,” Pride said. “He wasn’t just on one side making sure that his good players were doing well. He was watching everyone – even the third level guys, he was getting on them making sure that they were doing everything right so that they wouldn’t have any problems for the future. He was definitely hands on, he was live, he was ready to go, he was fired up, and he had everybody fired up.
“He was live in his meeting. He was going through different things and he was teaching them up. He made sure that they knew what they were doing – they couldn’t just say, ‘I got it.’ He wanted them to tell him what they did wrong.”