Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

UNC Signee Myles Dorn: Bred For Success

Myles Dorn's family didn't push him to Chapel Hill, but molded the Charlotte (N.C.) Vance safety into one of the most highly regarded members of UNC's 2016 recruiting class.

Myles Dorn will tell you he made his decision to play football at North Carolina a day or two before he announced it on December 4. His older brother knows better. 

The book on the Dorn brothers goes like this: Torin, Jr., who plays basketball at N.C. State, is the talker. Myles is the listener, and for the most part that’s true. You could drop Torin, Jr. in the middle of the desert and he’d have friends by sundown. Myles has to get comfortable before opening up.

And that’s what tipped Torin, Jr. off to his brother’s feelings. During Myles’s official visit to Chapel Hill, Torin, Jr. noticed a different vibe than normal. When they watched the game and later hung out with the team, he noticed how comfortable his brother was. He started to talk more.

“I just had a feeling he was ‘home,’ in a sense” Torin, Jr. says. “I even told one of my teammates that I thought he’d go there.”

Torin, Jr. says that he knows everything about his brothers before his parents do. In this case, he knew even before Myles did.

“He told me I was going to Carolina right after our visit,” Myles says. “I was like, ‘man whatever,’ but he was right.”

Myles is a quiet kid, but upfront about the possibilities offered at other schools. Going to Clemson would’ve meant playing for this year’s national runner up. Going to Ohio State would’ve meant being a celebrity on campus. Going to N.C. State would’ve meant spending his college years with his brother, which was possibly the toughest to pass up.

“I’m not going to lie, it would’ve been crazy if I’d decided to go to State (and be with my brother),” Myles says. “But I feel like I made the best decision for me as far as me putting myself in a position to exceed all my goals.”

Stripping sentimentality from a college decision is impossible for some, but the Dorn family looks at it logically. Myles’s father, Torin, Sr., played both running back and defensive back at Carolina in the late ‘80s and while he roots for the Heels, he understood that Carolina wasn’t the best place for Torin, Jr. to play basketball and it might not be the best place for the 6-foot-2 safety to play football. So, he and his wife Rhonda didn’t push any school over another.

Without the pressure of family, Myles was able to make a decision that made sense for him. He jokes that most meetings with coaches are identical. You could take a tape recorder in and hear the same recruiting pitch over and over. It comes down to where you want to spend the next four years.

“I just felt like that was the best place for me to be as far as scheme and feeling comfortable on campus and everything,” Myles says. “It just felt like home.”

Myles played his recruitment process close to the vest, but his family says there were little hints. His mother recalls a trip to Kenan Stadium three years ago when they were in town for one of Torin, Jr.’s basketball tournaments.

As Myles and his younger brother took pictures at midfield, she could see how happy he was as he looked into the stands.

“It was like he was dreaming,” Rhonda recalls. “When we left, he said, ‘I’m going to play on this field one day.’”

Having an athletic family has always been an asset to Myles. Torin, Sr. was there when the kids asked for help but otherwise kept his distance from their athletics. He even avoided coaching, never wanting to blur the line between coach and dad.

When Myles decided he wanted to play football at the next level, he asked his dad for advice and Torin, Sr. went to work. He helped set up drills. He taught him the importance of the weight room and the track. He showed him just how hard you had to work. He showed him how to think the game, keeping him a step ahead of everyone else.

“Of course, he knew what he was doing,” Myles said of his father. “How could you question it? He’s been where you wanted to go and he knows what it takes.”

The result is a big, strong defensive back with game breaking ability and wide receiver hands. Myles is a physically mature 17-year old, weighing 195 pounds and boasting a bench press of 360 pounds. On the field, he caught 95 balls as a receiver and played every defensive snap last season.

Vance High coach Aaron Brand says Myles’s work in the weight room prepared him to compete right away in college.

“He’s strong as all get out. He’s going to have all the weight room stuff. He’s just going to need the reps,” Brand says. “If he can keep that streak of staying healthy going and he can get those spring reps? All he needs is a chance.”

Myles was a luxury in the locker room for Vance, Brand says. He was a popular kid who always did the right thing, which rubbed off on younger players. Brand says Myles’s family had a lot to do with him keeping his head on straight.

“You don’t know how important that is,” Brand says. “There are a lot of Myleses out here but there aren’t a lot of Myleses that have the culture at home that he does.”

Myles arrived in Chapel Hill for the Spring semester on Jan. 8, but he got his first taste -- albeit a bitter one -- of college football the night Carolina lost to Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl. As the Bears racked up record setting rushing numbers against his future teammates, his phone started buzzing from classmates and they weren’t all well wishes.

“A lot of people were texting my phone saying, ‘Y’all gonna take an L,’ talking trash about the game. I like that. I like when people talk trash. Gives me a lot of motivation,” Myles says. “It made me more excited about getting up there because when you think you can make a difference you’re more anxious to get up there to see what you can do.

“I’m just ready to work. I’m ready to get after it.”

Don Callahan/Inside Carolina
Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

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