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Jake Lawler UNC Commitment Q&A: 'This is the place for me’

Jake Lawler committed to UNC this weekend. The defensive end from Charlotte (N.C.) South Mecklenburg spoke in-depth with Inside Carolina about his decision.

Q&A with Jake Lawler

Heading into the visit on Saturday, did you think you were going to commit?

“No, I didn’t know.”

So, when did it hit you?

“I guess it really hit me when Coach [Gene] Chizik pulled me aside in “the Dungeon,” as Coach [Tray] Scott calls it because it’s his film room. He brought me, my dad, and my grandpa in. He just told me blatantly, 'You are our No. 1 priority and we want you more than anyone.'

“That just allowed everything to culminate with how I felt about UNC. Hearing [Chizik] say that, it just brought back everything that I felt when I got that first offer. As soon as he said that, I thought, ‘This is the place for me.’

“And you want to go where you’re needed, not where you’re wanted. And I’m needed and wanted, so it worked out good.”

Your parents met as students at UNC. Had did that factor into this decision?

“Of course they didn’t pressure me at all, because they wanted me to make the best decision for me. But, as my high school coach – Coach [Rocky] White – told me, ‘They’re going to let you do whatever you want to do, but there’s nothing better than seeing your son playing in Carolina Blue when you went there.’ So I think it worked out great for all of us.”

What impact did Gunter Brewer have on your decision?

“He was just like another family figure to me. The only time we ever really talked about football was when he first offered me and then when I came up for my unofficial in July. It’s always been about, ‘What’s going on in the world? How’s your family doing? He knew my family members’ names. Him doing all that and keeping in touch with me – he kept in touch with me more than any other person in this process. I knew it was someone that I could count on and that played a big role.”

When did you actually commit?

“I committed [Saturday] night, actually. After the game – right after the game – I was in [Larry] Fedora’s office and I just told him, ‘You know, I just want to be a Tar Heel.’ And he exploded with joy and so did Brewer. And then Coach Brewer brought Coach Scott and Chizik in, and we had a little gathering. It was fun to see them so happy for me.”

You waited until today to announce it, though. Why?

“I was 100-percent in as soon as I committed. But, I just wanted to tell the other coaches that offered me that I was not going there, because it’s such an unbelievable opportunity to play collegiate football. So, them giving me the opportunity, I thought it was only right for me to tell them that I wasn’t going there before they heard it anywhere else.”

How many offers did you have and did you call all of them?

“Twelve and I talked to all of them.”

How firm is this commitment? Will you visit anywhere else? Or are you finished with recruiting?

“I’m just about done. As of right now, I’m 100-percent and I don’t think that will change. I don’t think I’ll make any other visits.”

When’s the next time you’ll return to UNC?

“February 27 for the Duke [basketball] game.”

How was Saturday’s junior day?

“It was awesome. It was my first basketball game, it was fun to watch, and it was a great atmosphere all around Chapel Hill.”

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