A condensed official visit schedule – thanks to a snowstorm on Friday – didn’t dampen Daniel Thomas’s experience at North Carolina this past weekend.
“Both of the schools I’ve visited are sticking out – really North Carolina the most,” Thomas said. “I really liked the academic part of North Carolina, and the people and the support around the school.”
Thomas, a 6-foot, 182-pound defensive back, plans to wait until a National Signing Day ceremony at Montgomery (Ala.) Lee High School to announce his decision. He plans to have a handful of hats on the table representing his five finalists: Auburn, Clemson, and Maryland, as well as UNC and South Carolina.
Originally, Thomas and his family were supposed to make the nine-hour drive to UNC on Friday. But the aforementioned snow delayed their trip – as well as all others scheduled to officially visit this past weekend – to Sunday. They reached Chapel Hill that evening and then departed for home at 3 p.m. on Monday.
“We saw basically everything,” Thomas said. “It was nice. It’s a wonderful school. I’m very interested in coming there. I just have to take my last visit to see how that goes.”
Thomas’s last visit is somewhat uncertain. In another schedule change, he was supposed to officially visit Clemson this coming weekend. But last Thursday, the Tigers picked up a verbal commitment from Nolan Turner, which voided Thomas’s offer and thus eliminated the trip (Clemson made his finalists list in case of a de-commitment).
Auburn now looks like Thomas’s destination this weekend. He and its staff are finalizing the details for the trip. The Tigers have yet to offer Thomas.
Throughout his short UNC stay, Thomas’s time was monopolized by defensive coordinator Gene Chizik and DB coach Charlton Warren.
“Basically, they just told me that they would love to have me,” Thomas said.
Specifically, Chizik and Warren project Thomas to play nickel and/or free safety within their 4-3 defensive scheme.
With most players having class early the next morning, Thomas was hosted by William Sweet, a freshman offensive lineman, on Sunday night.
“It was pretty cool spending time with him,” Thomas said. “He was real nice and answered all my questions.”
Before leaving on Monday, Thomas spent about an hour with Larry Fedora.
“He mostly talked about the academics, the school – basically, he wanted me to know that school comes first,” Thomas said.
The roles will be reversed on Wednesday when Thomas hosts Fedora for an in-home visit.