Jalen Holston completed the first leg of his decisive four-school tour on Thursday. That first leg, North Carolina, has set the bar high for the remainder of the tour.
"It was actually a great visit," Holston said. "I want to say it was one of the best visits I've gone on to date.
"They showed me everything from the life of a player and the classroom and the weight room. I basically spent a day as a player. It was just a great day. I got to see everything.
"The one thing that really impressed me was they actually went out of their way to send me into the classrooms that the players will actually be in the summer. I've never experienced that and I've never heard of anybody experiencing that."
Holston, a 6-foot, 206-pound running back from Stockbridge (Ga.), will continue with his tour on Friday with a stop at South Carolina. He'll resume next week with trips to Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Once these visits are completed, Holston will sit down with his family and coaches and settle on a commitment date. He's considering either an early August commitment or scheduling an announcement in September around his birthday.
Mississippi State, NC State, and Tennessee are also in the running, but the four schools that comprise his current tour are the lead group. Holston's relationships with the coaches at UNC, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia have those schools ahead.
Thursday's visit to UNC put the Tar Heels in great position.
"It puts them really high on the list," Holston said with a devilish laugh. "I wouldn't be able to say that [UNC is my leader] right now. I'm still thinking about it. But just know they're really high."
The majority of Holston's visit was spent with Chris Kapilovic, his primary recruiter. That included a one-on-one meeting to go over the state of UNC's running back recruiting efforts.
"His message to me was he wants me really bad, but they honestly need me, because they need running backs," Holston said. "They want me to be another Elijah Hood. Actually, they want me to be better than him."
Following the 2016 season, UNC's running back depth chart will be left with just Jordon Brown, a freshman, and Hood, who will have the ability to declare for the NFL Draft.
Consequently, if Holston commits to UNC, he'll be a part of a three-running back recruiting class. Florida natives Michael Carter and Adarius Lemons have already pledged to the Tar Heels. Holston welcomes the idea of completing that trio.
"I'm confident in myself," Holston said. "It will be an honor to be a part of a class like that."
Thursday afternoon Kapilovic handed Holston off to Larry Porter, UNC's running backs coach, for a film session.
"He broke down how I fit into their offense and the good things that I can do," Holston said.
As a junior, Holston rushed for 1,361 yards and 13 touchdowns with an 8.4-yard average. He also scored touchdowns on his two lone receptions.
Normally, Holston's visit itinerary would include a meeting with Larry Fedora. But with the head man in Charlotte for the ACC Kickoff media event, that wasn't possible. To compensate, Holston and Fedora spoke over the phone late Thursday night.
"He told me he was trying to get back to me, so he could talk to me in person," Holston said. "But, he just wanted to say that he really, really wants me and they really need me. He wanted to let me know how important I was and make sure I knew that he really wanted to be my coach."