Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

LB Jeremiah Gemmel Drawn to the UNC Family

While on a family vacation, Jeremiah Gemmel verbally committed to UNC. After returning home, the Sharpsburg (Ga.) East Coweta linebacker discussed his decision with Inside Carolina.

Jeremiah Gemmel Q&A

What was it about UNC that made you want to commit?

"They really emphasized family. They're a family team. It's not about getting a bunch of recruits in to start a huge football factor, like some other schools are."

Chris Kapilovic recruited you for UNC. How did that factor into your decision?

"I met Coach Kap through Coach [Steve] Pardue. Coach Pardue is a really good guy. When [Pardue] came in [in 2014], he told me all about Coach Kap. When I started to talk to Coach Kap, he had a great personality and I was like, 'I have to give UNC a chance.' I went up there, and I feel in love."

You attended the spring game in April and then Fedora’s Freak Show in June. Did you visit UNC any other time?

“Those were the only two times. Hopefully this fall, I’ll come up to some games.”

When did you begin to lean towards UNC?

“Honestly, the spring game. And then everything fell in place this summer when I got to meet all the coaches -- Coach [Gene] Chizik, Coach JP [John Papuchis]."

When did you decide you were ready to commit?

"When I went up to the Freak Show and I actually got coached by Coach JP and I got to meet the head coach. I just fell in love with it. I also got to see the campus."

When did you let the UNC coaches know?

"Saturday night I called Coach JP and I called Coach [Larry] Fedora, and let them know that I wanted to be a Tar Heel."

What was their reaction?

Coach JP was really excited. Right when I told him, he said, 'Alright, just give me a minute.' He hung up the phone and texted me five minutes later to tell me to call Coach Fedora. And I surprised Coach Fedora with it, because Coach JP didn't tell him. Since I surprised him with it, Coach Fedora was excited."

You mentioned being coached by Coach Papuchis at the Freak Show. What type of coach is he?

"He's not a loud, get-in-your-face coach. But, he definitely knows what he's doing. He's going to break you down, he's going to work on your weaknesses, and see what you can improve on."

The Freak Show is a unique camp. How is it different than a typical camp?

"The camp is more exclusive. So, the competition was higher than most camps that I went to. And, it was a good atmosphere."

The day of the Freak Show, did you do anything before the camp actual begin?

"I arrived probably about an hour early. And they took me around and showed me the campus. They showed me where I'd be taking my classes, because I'll be going for my business degree. They showed me the dining areas. They showed me where the stadium was for basketball and they told me that all the football players get tickets to go to basketball games -- that impressed me, too."

Before leaving the Freak Show, did you give the coaches any sort of hint that you might be leaning their direction?

"I told them that I was going to commit there that night. But, after I told them that I committed, I stopped myself. Most of my family was out of town -- they were down in Florida. So, I just told [the UNC coaches], 'Give me a week or so and let me talk to my family about this.' They gave me a few days and that Saturday I committed."

You committed while you were on vacation, correct? Why?

"Yes sir, it was the first day or second day. I just wanted to get with all my family -- even my family from up north that I don't see very often. So, that was a perfect time to tell them and everybody was excited about it."

How firm is this commitment? Will you visit any other schools?

"Right now, I'm strong with my commitment. There were a couple of schools that I was interested [in] that haven't offered, but since they haven't offered now they must not be that interested in me. So I have a strong commitment right now. The only other school that I have an interest in is Georgia. But, I'm strong with where I stand right now -- I like North Carolina."

Quite a few schools were interested and did offer. How many schools did offer you? What were some of those others that did offer?

"I'm up to 16 now. Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Missouri, and Indiana."

Within UNC's defense, where do the coaches see you fitting in?

"They see me at the outside. But, they might be moving me around a bit. Not even just playing linebacker -- I might drop back and play strong safety if they need me to."


Inside Carolina Top Stories