Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

UNC Junior Day Whets DE Chris Collins's Appetite

The Va. defensive end already has a return visit scheduled.

Chris Collins picked quite an event to make his first visit to North Carolina. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound defensive end from Richmond (Va.) Benedictine attended Saturday's elite junior day, which was held in conjunction with the UNC-Duke basketball game.

"I actually play basketball, so [the UNC-Duke basketball game] is probably the craziest sporting event I've ever been to," Collins said. "Fans were yelling, supporting each team. I had a great time at the game."

The annual "Battle of the Blues" capped a junior day itinerary brimming with entertaining activities, including a cornhole tournament and a lively registration process.

"The day was based around just having fun -- enjoying ourselves," Collins said. "I definitely enjoyed myself. I had a good time when I was down North Carolina. I definitely had a great time meeting the coaching staff and getting around them."

In particular, Collins spent the most time with John Papuchis, who doubles as UNC's defensive coordinator and Collins's primary recruiter.

"He just talked to me about how he wanted to get me back up for a different date, where I can enjoy the school," Collins said. "Next time I come back up, he said, we could have more one-on-one time and talk about where he saw me in the system."

Collins plans to take Papuchis up on his offer. He's already scheduled to return to Chapel Hill on March 25.

"That visit, I want to learn more about the defense, talk more to the defensive line coach, and see his style of coaching," Collins said. "I just want to go more in-depth."

Also this month, Collins is scheduled to visit Maryland, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia. He has previously visited Duke, Georgia, Pittsburgh, and Virginia, in addition to UNC.

After Saturday's visit, Collins says UNC is "in the mix" for the schools he's considering. He doesn't actually have a finite group, but he plans to draft a list of favorite schools following his spring break trips.

"I'll sit down with my family and just have a talk about what schools that are at the top right now of my list," Collins said. 

As a junior, Collins recorded 5.5 sacks for a 7-3 team.


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