RICHMOND, Va. --- Chris Collins selected North Carolina over fellow finalists Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee, during a ceremony held at Benedictine School on Monday afternoon.
"I would like to commit to the University of North Carolina," he told a crowd that included family, friends, teammates and media.
Collins, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound defensive end, is the lone out-of-state prospect on UNC's early class of 2018 commitment list. He joins a class that already included N.C. natives Dyami Brown, Avery Jones, and Payton Wilson.
Twenty schools offered Collins a scholarship. In addition to his final four, he collected offers from Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Michigan State, NC State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
This offseason, Collins visited Boston College, Duke, Georgia, Louisville, Maryland, UNC, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and West Virginia.
As a junior, Collins recorded 5.5 sacks for a 7-3 team.
"The first thing that comes to my mind is he's a student of the game," Benedictine head coach Greg Lilly said. "His dad is our defensive coordinator. He's been a kid who has grown up around our football program; he was working out with us in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. So, he's a kid who really buys into technique, wanting to know why you're doing certain techniques -- he always asks all the right questions. He's also the kid who's watching an hour and a half, two hours worth of film every week. He's into football and wants to get better, but also does the preparation that you need to do.
"Secondly, he's a kid who has fun playing. Last year, we were a senior-led group, but there was one younger guy who was always making noise and having fun playing -- that was him. I really think he has fun playing, I think he has fun being around the atmosphere of football and being around the team.
"He has good length; he has a good frame; he has the ability to put on some weight; and he's a good athlete. He's a kid who has good hip flexibility, gets off the football well, but he plays basketball and can run around the court a little bit."
UNC assistant coaches Deke Adams and John Papuchis teamed up to recruit Collins.