Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

UNC Commitment Q&A: Athlete Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones committed to UNC on Friday over Clemson, Florida, Georgia, NC State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, among others. The four-star 2017 athlete from Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek spoke in-depth with Inside Carolina about his decision.

Q&A with Ryan Jones

In less than five months, UNC has gone from outside your favorites list to the school you’ve committed to. How did that happen?

“I’ve always liked UNC. At first, I was kind of frustrated that they didn’t offer. But, I’ve been going to UNC games since I was in third grade. It just felt like the right school for me.”

When did things start to turn around for UNC?

“A little bit after they offered [in late October]. It’s a great school and it’s only a couple of hours away.”

When did you begin to contemplate a verbal commitment?

“I think my last visit there – when I went to the Boston College-UNC basketball game [for the junior day]. That kind of helped.”

What happened during that junior day visit?

“I got to talk to Coach [Gunter] Brewer and Coach [Larry] Fedora. And they told me what they wanted me to do when I got there. That had a big impact.”

Against Vance, you strictly played cornerback. But against Independence, you exclusively played receiver. How does UNC project to use you?

“They told me that I’m going to be playing on both sides of the ball. On defense it will be safety.”

It’s one thing to do that in high school and another to do it in college. What are your thoughts on that workload?

“I think I’ll be able to do it. I think that’s going to help me, because I don’t like to come off the field.”

You’ve gone to a lot of UNC football games, but was that your first UNC basketball game?

“Yes sir. It was okay. It wasn’t the best game, because Boston College is kind of bad. But, I’m going back for the Duke game and I think that game will be a lot more fun.”

Earlier in the week, Jake Lawler committed. You guys are close, so did that factor in to your decision to commit?

“Yes, Jake and I grew up together. We were supposed to commit together after the Duke game, but during the [Boston College] basketball game he texted me saying that he was really feeling it and he wanted to commit now. I was like, ‘Alright.’ But, ultimately him and I were planning on going to school together.”

What impact did Brewer have on your decision?

“I’ve been talking to Coach Brewer since my freshman year when I went to the camp. And then he would always come by my school. Recruiting wise, I probably had the best relationship with him than any other coaches at any other school.”

When did you actually commit?

“Really, it was Saturday night, but I didn’t announce until Friday.”

Why Friday?

“You know how Signing Day was Wednesday and the focus was on the senior class. I just wanted to wait until after that died down a little bit.”

You have 15 offers, so how firm is this commitment? Will you visit any other schools?

“I’m not sure. I think I’m probably going to take my [allotment of] official [visits]. But I’m pretty firm in my commitment.”

Your school has tons of recruits, including T.J. Moore, who UNC has offered. And there are other guys in the area like Lawler that you’re close to. Will you be recruiting anyone?

“I’m definitely going to try to talk to T.J. and try to get him to come. And also there are a couple of other guys that I was made aware of that are pretty interested in UNC. I want to see what I can do with them. Like Jordon Riley, who’s down in Durham. And there were a couple of other guys that Jake told me about that we think we can get to join us at UNC.”

UNC has really started strong with this class. What are your thoughts?

“It’s definitely something that probably has never been seen before at UNC. But, I think that with us being four-stars and committing so early that’s definitely going to draw some attention to the UNC program. And hopefully, it will cause more four- and five-stars to commit to UNC-Chapel Hill.”

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