Q&A with Antwuan Branch
North Carolina offered you a couple of weeks ago. What occurred between then and now to prompt your commitment switch from Purdue to UNC?
"Definitely changes with Purdue. I really don't know what's about to go on with Purdue.
"And then just building relationships with North Carolina. I talked to Coach [Larry] Porter since they offered every day. We've been talking about more than just the football aspect. Of course the football is great -- the statistics speak for themselves. But, we've been talking about life. And we've been building a great relationship.
"And then I went up to go [officially] visit. Great relationships were built. I just knew that I felt the most comfortable in that situation."
Ultimately, what was it about UNC?
"Definitely the town, the people, the coaches. It's a family oriented program. It's a great coaching staff, great players. And then [my] family ties to North Carolina. And the situation is amazing. I just felt it was the place for me."
You've already changed your commitment once and you've seen a flood of new interest. How firm is this commitment?
"I'm done. I went ahead and shut it down. I let everyone know that this will be the decision for me. The University of North Carolina is the place I will be next fall."
When did you take your UNC official visit?
"I arrived Thursday morning and then headed back home late Friday night."
UNC played at Duke on Thursday night, eight miles away. You went to that game -- at Duke -- as part of your UNC official visit. That had to be strange.
"Yeah, it was. But I really enjoyed it.
"It was kind of ironic, because I have two cousins that play for Duke, Deondre Singleton and Dylan Singleton. So, I have a lot of family ties in the [Triangle] Area. Them two, of course, and then my brother lives like 30 minutes from Chapel Hill. So it's a great situation to be in."
Besides the game, what else did you do during your UNC official visit?
"I spoke to a lot of the support staff, I spoke to the AD, I talked to the head of the business school -- that's what I plan on majoring in. I just built a lot of relationships and just talked about North Carolina as a whole."
When you met with Larry Fedora on Friday, what did he touch on?
"He was telling me about how North Carolina is a great place, not only football wise but academically as well. It's just a beautiful situation to be in for a running back. They have four guys on scholarship right now at the tailback position and two of those are actually leaving. And then if Elijah Hood goes to the [National Football] League that will leave one guy on scholarship. It's a great situation to be in."
Speaking of which, how does UNC envision you fitting into the offense?
"[They see me as] more of the big power guy. Elijah Hood, he's a big 'back and they don't have too many of those. I think that every other 'back is under 200 [pounds]. If Elijah leaves, then when I come in I'll be the only guy that's over 200 on scholarship. Like I said, it's a great fit and a great situation. I'd be that big, every down back."
Fellow Tennessean Rontavius Groves was your player host. What was it like spending time with him?
"It was cool. He's a cool, chilled, laid back dude. I actually played against him my freshman and sophomore years. And we actually got put out by his team this year in the first round of the playoffs. He knows a little bit about my school and I knew a little bit about his, as well. It was cool to connect with another Tennessee guy."
Speaking of Tennessee natives, Caleb Rozar has been committed to UNC since June. Are you familiar with him?
"We're really good friends. We talk a lot. He was one of those guys when I got the offer he was like, 'Commit now.' But he knows it's a personal decision so he was like, 'Just make the best decision for you.'
"I felt like I did a really good job not letting relationships and things like that get in the way. But, when it came down to the ultimate decision, it was a lot more than just that that played into it. I just felt North Carolina was the best fit for me."