Walston Sees Fit at UNC

Tight end target Garrett Walston received a full Chapel Hill experience over the weekend.

As he inches closer to his college decision – once again – Garrett Walston attended Fedora’s Freak Show on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 213-pound tight end from Wilmington (N.C.) New Hanover then stayed the night at North Carolina.

“It really gave me a feel for what a night at Chapel Hill would be like,” Walston said. “The school was kind of empty with everybody on summer break, but there were still the football guys like the rising freshmen who just got there and they’re all adjusting to it. I kind of felt like I was a rising freshman and that was my first night. The guys really made me feel welcomed and at home.”

Red-shirt freshman Caleb Samuel, incoming freshmen Tommy Hatton and Charlie Heck, and verbal commitment Logan Byrd were a sampling of the players Walston hung out with.

“I think I fit in pretty well,” Walston said. “A lot of people might see new recruits coming in – especially at the same position – and be stuck up and not really want to talk to you. But there wasn’t a single guy that wasn’t trying to recruit me there. They all wanted me to come there. They all talked to me and made me feel at home. Even the new freshman tight end, Jake Bargas, he was real cool.”

Although it was under consideration, Walston didn’t make the decision to stay the night in Chapel Hill until experiencing a campus tour that included a detailed look of the dorm rooms.

The tour followed a meeting with Seth Littrell, UNC’s tight ends coach.

“He got me on the board and showed me some things that I would be doing if I came to Carolina,” Walston said. “He showed me how he would use my skill set in the offense.”

Walston camped at UNC last summer, as well as NC State and Wake Forest. However, according to Walston, no experience equals that of Fedora’s Freak Show.

“They try to include as many activities as possible,” Walston said. “At the end, we played dodge ball – I thought that was pretty fun. They just made it a fun experience. It was competitive but laidback at the same time. I enjoyed that. I thought that was pretty cool. It was almost like a hang out with a little bit of workout built into it. There was a lunch/dinner at the beginning. They had time to chill with the players in the players’ longue.”

In addition to the activities, the Freak Show allowed Walston to be coached by Littrell and wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer.

“They know what they’re talking about,” Walston said. “They coached some of the best in the NFL right now. You’ve got to listen to them, because they’ve been in the business for a while. It was good getting some pointers from them and things that will help me to increase my game.”

Walston, who spent Friday night at NC State before heading to Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon, plans to make an overnight visit to Georgia this coming weekend. Sometime after returning from Athens, he hopes to make a decision.

“Hopefully soon,” Walston said. “I don’t want to give a date, because the last time I did that it was a catastrophe. But, really, really, soon [I’ll decide].”

The “catastrophe” was when Walston scheduled to make a college decision on May 22 and then canceled the day prior.

“I wasn’t really thinking about it at the time, because we were ending school and I was taking exams and we were ending baseball season,” Walston said. “I didn’t really focus on trying to do all my research and gathering all the knowledge, and then making my decision. I was kind of throwing that date out hoping that I was ready. It turned out that I wasn’t ready.”

Whenever he does decide, Walston will chose between Georgia, UNC, and NC State. He says he doesn’t have a public or private leader.

“It’s all even,” Walston said.

Last Thursday, NC State picked up a verbal commitment from a tight end, Dylan Autenrieth.

“They’re taking two this year, so it’s not that big of a deal,” Walston said. “They said I still have a spot, because they’re recruiting me to play a different position. They’re recruiting me to play, what they call, the ‘F’ position and they’re recruiting him to play the ‘Y’.”

Walston’s mother, as well as several other members on that side of the family, are UNC alumni. Conversely, Walston is friends with former NC State tight end George Bryan and current defensive tackle Coult Culler.

“They don’t factor into [my decision] too much, because it’s my decision not everybody else’s,” Walston said. “And that’s what people tell me. I’m just trying to do what’s best for me. I’m not paying too much attention to what people try to influence me and what not.”

Some of the factors that Walston said will go into his decision include relationship with coaches, comfort level, head coach, offense, and the school in general.

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