August 3 is the date that Kyree Campbell had targeted to release his top ten schools list. However, after attending Fedora’s Freak Show on Saturday, that plan will likely change – if not be completely scrapped.
“I might be looking to do it a little earlier,” Campbell said. “I might actually be ready to do the old ‘hat thing.’”
The “old hat thing,” of course, is in reference to a press conference where Campbell, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive tackle from Woodbridge (Va.), would announce his commitment.
The genesis for the change: Campbell said he now has identified a school he’d like to commit to.
And, he considers UNC his favorite school.
“I just grew up loving North Carolina basketball, football, baseball – it didn’t matter, I was a North Carolina fan,” Campbell said. “But just being around these guys, it’s a family – it’s not just a team. They look after you. I love that. And Coach [Larry] Fedora is a great guy – just sitting down talking to him, I could talk to him all day.”
Campbell admitted that when the Freak Show ended with its customary “Who’s Next?” (i.e. when Fedora asks the campers who would like to commit to UNC), he considered – at least for a moment – standing up and joining the group of Tar Heel pledges.
“I have a few more schools I have to compare and contrast to before I make a decision,” Campbell said. “I have to go see Tennessee and V-Tech, and Pittsburgh before I finally make my decision.”
Campbell estimates that he’ll do the “old hat thing” sometime within the first half of August.
In anticipation for the Freak Show, Campbell, along with his coach Gary Wortham and teammates Kalel Grant and Dashaun Jerwins, arrived in Chapel Hill Friday morning. Most of that first day was spent with his potentially future teammates.
“[Friday], I just got close with the players,” Campbell said. “I’m familiar with a few players here, but some weren’t here – they were at home. So I got hooked up with some players that I didn’t know – Naz [Jones], Jesse [Rogers], William Sweet. They just showed me around [and] showed me a good time.”
Also on Friday, Campbell received an opportunity to observe Tray Scott, UNC’s defensive line coach, as he coached a large group of defensive linemen during the Tar Heels’ final one-day camp. That was followed up with actually being coached by Scott during the Freak Show. These experiences were crucial as Campbell continues to form an opinion on Scott, who joined UNC’s staff in early March.
“Seeing him coach, he’s just a straightforward guy – he gets after it,” Campbell said. “And then just being coached by him – I just love it. He’s just a high temp dude. I just love being coached by him.”
Being coached by Scott was a small piece of the Freak Show experience.
“It completely differs [from other camps],” Campbell said. “It’s just a completely different atmosphere. I didn’t expect to come out here and actually have fun. I thought we would go at drills and do the same old, same old. Man, I loved it. It was a great experience. We just came out here and got after it and had a bunch of fun messing around with the coaches, [and] got some work in during the one-on-ones.”
The event didn’t affect UNC’s stance with Campbell only because there’s no place higher than UNC’s current ranking.
“My feelings for Carolina have always been strong and it’s always going to stay strong,” Campbell said. “I just had a great night.”
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