In the span of three months, Cameron Brown will have made three trips to North Carolina. The second of those visits took place on Friday.
“Definitely, I wanted to get to see the school again,” Brown said of Friday’s visit. “I came down for a spring practice, but I wanted to see it all again. My coach said he wanted to go down and bring some kids, so I thought it was a good opportunity for me to see it again and see the coaches.”
Thus, Brown, a 6-foot-5, 199-pound linebacker, spent much of Friday supporting Potomac (Md.) Bullis School teammates Aiden Brown, Olandis Gary, Terrell Haskins, Jeffrey Oxner, and Langston Stephen from the sidelines. Brown, who first visited in late March, will return to Chapel Hill for Fedora’s Freak Show where he plans to participate.
These visits, especially the two in June, are imperative to UNC’s chances with Brown as he edges closer to Aug. 1, his next planned cut down date.
“[UNC is] definitely among my top group,” Brown said. “They were inside my top ten. And when I cut down the list, I’m pretty sure they’re going to make it.”
In early May, Brown trimmed his list of nearly two dozen scholarship offers to ten schools. That list has morphed into a final nine comprised of Arizona State, Michigan State, UNC, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Southern Cal, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.
“They were definitely the main ones that kept in contact throughout the whole process,” Brown said. “Some of them were in there earlier than others. After visits, I just enjoyed some more than others. It was the relationship with the coaches, but it wasn’t only that – it was what the programs could do for me after football.”
On Aug. 1, after taking a couple of additional visits and then using the dead period to reflect, Brown will name a final five or six. In addition to the Freak Show, he plans to make return trips to Pitt and Virginia Tech. He also figures to head out to Southern Cal in early August.
Besides supporting his teammates, Friday’s camp provided Brown yet another opportunity to evaluate John Papuchis, UNC’s linebackers coach.
“He’s definitely a high energy coach,” Brown said. “He talks and he speaks with authority, but he knows we’re still young and want to joke around sometimes and he definitely lets loose. He’s definitely a good coach.”
Brown also conversed often with Papuchis, who doubles as Brown’s primary recruiter.
“He just said he was excited for me to get down here and he was excited to get me down here again for the Freak Show,” Brown said. “Pretty much, he said he wanted me to see what the program has to offer and talk to some of the players. The visit was more for me to talk to the players more and get their opinions. ”
Regardless of Papuchis’s advice, Brown was sought out by William Sweet, an offensive tackle who enrolled in January and has taken it upon himself to help UNC’s recruiting efforts.
“The first thing he said to me was he picked this over LSU,” Brown said. “That means a lot. He said his tops were LSU and North Carolina. To me, that’s really awkward – you’re thinking, ‘Who wouldn’t pick LSU?’ But he made some very valid points about how the degree is a lot better and pretty much he felt at home here and he felt that – even though it was eight/nine hours away from home – he was still comfortable enough to go that far. He feels like they have something good going on around here.”
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