SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- When he committed to North Carolina in late October, Marlon Dunlap left the door open to still visit other schools.
“I haven’t taken a visit anywhere since I committed,” Dunlap said. “I’m focused on Carolina and being prepared for college. My main focus is on Carolina football right now. I’m pretty much set to go [to UNC] and I’m not visiting anywhere else.”
With that solidified, Dunlap’s concerned with getting to know his future teammates. The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder will make huge strides in that department during his official visit, which is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 16.
“They told me that almost all the commits were coming that weekend and we’re probably going to be going to the basketball game,” Dunlap said. “It’s going to be a good experience to meet the freshman that I’m going to be there with and see potential roommates.”
This week, Dunlap is receiving a sneak preview. He’s playing in the Shrine Bowl with three other UNC verbal commitments – Jordon Brown, Jonathan Smith, and Garrett Walston.
“I really didn’t know any of these guys until we reported [for the Shrine Bowl],” Dunlap said. “Obviously, we’re teammates and roommates this week, so there’s a lot of bonding.”
On the practice field, Dunlap has worked exclusively at end in a '50' defensive scheme, which is essentially a 3-4. West Charlotte used a four-man front during Dunlap’s tenure.
“The play calls are different,” Dunlap said. “And I’m playing a little bit tighter than I would in a 4-3. It’s not too different, though. I played basically the whole defensive line at West Charlotte. So you can throw me into a three-technique, a five-[technique], a four-i, nose [tackle], I basically know what I’m supposed to do.”
Before leaving for Spartanburg, Dunlap hosted Tray Scott, UNC’s defensive line coach, for an in-home visit.
“He talked to my family,” Dunlap said. “He told me he’s going to coach me hard, but he’s going to be good to me. He said I didn’t have to worry about anything, because he’s going to be like my second father.”