Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

UNC Commitment Q&A: Relationships Produced D.J. Crossen's Commitment

During a postgame ceremony on Friday night, D.J. Crossen pledged to the Tar Heels. The 2018 cornerback from Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley talked with Inside Carolina about his decision...

Q&A with D.J. Crossen

Why North Carolina?

"Really, it was because of my relationships I developed with Coach [Charlton] Warren, Coach [Gene] Chizik, and Coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic] mainly. I really got comfortable with them.

"And with them being in-state, being close to home, and UNC was always a favorite school of mine growing up. Being a North Carolina kid, I was always around the football games and basketball games.

"Being comfortable with the alumni there [was a reason]. And now, I'm comfortable with the athletes and the students there."

Can you expand on your relationship with Kapilovic and Warren?

"I knew Coach Kap before I knew anyone, because he recruits the area and he recruits some of the guys on the team. Him and I have developed a really great relationship since my freshman year. And I'm very comfortable with him.

"And Coach Warren, I can tell he's a great, genuine person. With him serving in the military, I know he can discipline me well and teach me great life skills, as well as on-the-field skills. So, I feel really comfortable with him."

There are plenty of 2017 recruits who have yet to make their college decisions. Why commit now?

"Ever since my ninth grade year and I started getting looked at, UNC and NC State were always my dream offers. They were where I always wanted to go. 

"Once I got those [offers] this summer, I started thinking about it throughout the summer and camp. And as the season was approaching, I just figured, 'Wow, why should I wait?' So I made my decision that I wanted to go to UNC."

How you gotten a better sense of where Warren projects you within the secondary?

"On my last visit, he told me I would be playing field [and] boundary corner, and nickel. One of those positions, primarily."

When in your mind did you decide you wanted to go to UNC?

"My last visit. It was for a practice. I toured the whole campus. They told me everything they knew with the football team, the living conditions -- everything. That's when I knew I wanted to be a Tar Heel."

Did you drop any hints while you were on your visit?

"Not really. I pretty much knew I wanted to be there, but I tried to keep it under wraps to keep it as a surprise. But, I'm pretty sure they knew they were at the top after that visit."

Did you let the UNC coaches know before or did they find out like everyone else?

"They found out like everybody else."

You could have committed in a lot of different ways. Why did you choose to commit after the game Friday night with your teammates?

"I really believe in what [Dudley head coach] Coach [Steven] Davis has instilled in me. What my parents have taught me is to appreciate others and how they help you. I wanted to do it after my first game of my junior year, because your junior year is usually your biggest year. And without Coach Davis, the whole coaching staff, all my teammates -- I really appreciate them, because they pushed me and they get me better in practice. I'd rather be with them and commit than just do it alone."

Considering how early you committed, some might assume that it's just a reservation. With that in mind, how firm is this commitment? Will you visit any other schools?

"As of right now, I will not be. But, I don't know what the future holds."

How often should we expect to see you in Chapel Hill?

"Very often. I might actually visit on Saturday.

What about game visits?

"I'll definitely be at the first home game and a bunch more."

Now that you've made this decision, how do you feel?

"I feel very comfortable with this decision. I feel like I made the best decision for my future and for everyone around me, so that I can prosper and succeed in life -- not just as a football player, but as a young man."

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