During his official visit this past weekend, North Carolina pledge Michael Carter could have sat back and simply reveled in one of the perks of being recruited. Instead, the 5-foot-8, 178-pound running back from Navarre (Fla.) used the weekend as yet another chance to aggressively recruit teammate/close friend Nick Brahms
"I'm just in his ear," Carter said. "He saw it for himself. He likes it there. What can you say bad about North Carolina?
"This is personal, but somebody asked me over the weekend what I didn't like about North Carolina. And I couldn't give him a legitimate answer, because there's not really something that sticks out that I would want to change. Maybe that will change when I'm all the way enrolled. But, at this point, I don't see anything to dislike about Chapel Hill and [Brahms] sees that, too. And definitely the different opportunities, inside and outside the classroom, that North Carolina presents really made an impact on Nick."
Carter's recruiting efforts didn't stop with Brahms. Carter also was -- and has been -- in the ear of Jalen Holston, who was also officially visiting UNC this weekend -- even though Holston and Carter play the same position.
"It wasn't weird, because no matter where you go you're going to compete," Carter said. "At the same time, Jalen is a great running back; he's tough, he's strong, he's fast, he's physical, and I think he'd be a really good fit.
"But, it's not about me -- it's about the team. Plus, Coach [Larry] Porter likes to run his running backs a lot."
On Saturday, Carter was an eyewitness to Porter discharging his complete running back depth chart. All three healthy, scholarship'd backs had at least three carries against Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, it was was in a losing effort.
"I understand that the rain was a factor in the game," Carter said. "In the football world, you hear the word 'adversity' a lot. It was just a firsthand experience that it doesn't change in college.
"But going to practice [on Sunday] after watching the game on Saturday, they're focused, because their goals are still intact as long as they win out and a few other teams have to lose. The mood was very positive and they're moving on to the next week."
Carter would have loved to see UNC remain undefeated in the ACC, but it was much more important for him to observe the staff's willingness to play true freshman. With starting running back Elijah Hood out, Jordon Brown's red-shirt was burnt.
"It's a good look for a program that a freshman could come in and they trust him," Carter said. "That was a big impression on me -- they trust their guys no matter what class they are, as long as they learn and take it seriously. That's one thing that Coach [Larry] Fedora is big on: he doesn't care what year you are, if you can play you can play."
That lesson carried into Carter's Sunday meeting with Fedora.
"He told me, 'I hate to break it to you, but you've got to be ready to play next year,'" Carter said. "That's fine with me. That's part of the reason why I chose North Carolina, because I want to make an impact on the team and on the community as soon as possible."
Fedora also talked about the more immediate future. That is: in-home visits, January enrollment, and spring practice.
"He wants to come down for a game or maybe after the season," Carter said. "He was just telling me how he was excited to have me come in in January. But, we really have to go hard because I'm going to have to be ready to play."
Carter may return to UNC prior to his January enrollment. Such a visit will likely occur after the season.
Whether he does or doesn't return to Chapel Hill before January, Carter knows he meshes "very well" with his future classmates. Four of them ( J.T. Cauthen, Jake Lawler, Jordon Riley, and Tre Shaw) also officially visited UNC this past weekend.
"We're all down-to-earth [and] we all have the same goal in mind," Carter said. "It's a cool thing to know that you're going to spend the next four years with these guys."
Additionally, Carter had no problem connecting for older teammates, starting with player host William Sweet, who is also a Floridian.
"He's cool and incredibly smart," Carter said. "He's humble and a funny guy. He made the best visit possible to me and Nick. It was awesome."