Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

Commitment Q&A: Three Attributes Led DE Chris Collins to UNC

At a ceremony at his school, Chris Collins committed to UNC over fellow finalists Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee. He spoke to Inside Carolina shortly after the announcement.

Chris Collins Commitment Q&A

Why UNC?

"There were three things that really stood out to me the most. The first thing, academics -- it's one of the best communication schools on the east coast. That's ultimately what I want to major in.

"The second thing was the environment. We talked about it earlier -- Jake Lawler, I have a great relationship with him. I went down there three times and every time I felt like it was a family.

"And the third thing was probably my relationship with Coach Deke Adams. We talk, pretty much, every day now, whether it's call or text. He just always talks about how he's going to push me to be the best and that's ultimately what I want to be."

Elaborate more on your relationship with Deke Adams, UNC's D-line coach, and his impact.

"It was like a smooth transition, because Coach J.P. [John Papuchis] started recruiting me but after awhile Coach Deke just started picking it up. And he talks to my mom and dad -- he talks to them more than he talks to me, which is always good because I want my parents to be comfortable with who is going to be in charge of me. My dad has been coaching me -- he's my position coach. [Adams] and my dad have a great relationship and that was definitely big for me."

When did you know?

"I knew about three weeks ago, but the main thing was definitely my mom. You know how mothers are. It was a motherly instinct. She wanted to make sure, because once I commit there's no de-committing. I wouldn't like it if a school put an offer on me [and pulled it], I'd be pretty upset. I definitely wanted to show the same dignity."

Why commit today?

"I was already determined to commit there. I loved it -- every part of it. I didn't want to commit during the season or after the season, because I wanted to be focused on the state championship. My teammates come first and I felt like I wouldn't be giving them my all if I was focused on schools."

UNC's commitments have helped with the Tar Heels' recruiting efforts. Did any of them reach out to you?

"Yes sir, I've actually been talking to my man Avery [Jones]. We actually follow each other on Twitter, so we DM back and forth.

"I'm definitely going to start helping my team recruit in class of 2018."

Do you have any targets in mind?

"Definitely Alim [McNeill]. That's my man right there. Alim would definitely help our D-line at three-technique. Actually, when I was visiting UNC for the Duke [basketball] game, he was my cornhole partner. So, we've kind of developed that relationship early. But, he's a great guy."

Going through the recruiting process, you had a unique advantage since both of your parents are coaches. How did that factor in?

"They know the aspect of player development. And they know freshman year coming in from high school is a big transition. And they wanted to put faith in a coach that wasn't just going to give up on me, if the transition was going to be hard for me. They wanted someone that was going to be there for me and consistently push me. They definitely put their faith in Coach Adams."

You mentioned that you're firm, so will you visit elsewhere?

"No sir."

When's the next time you'll be at UNC?

"As soon as possible. As soon as I can get back down there for a weekend, I'll do that. I want to get more comfortable."

Any dates in mind?

"I already guaranteed Coach Adams and Coach J.P. that I'll be down there for [Fedora's] Freak Show. I'll looking forward to competing and it will be my first time being coached by Coach Adams."

Have you let the UNC coaches know? If so, when?

"Yes sir, I let Coach Adams know. It was strange because colleges have been by and he came by earlier around noon. I let him know, but I had to call him."

What was his reaction?

"His reaction was great. He was very excited -- he was just yelling. After that, he was just like, 'Yea, we have to get on three-way with Coach [Larry] Fedora.' So, around 1:30, I got on three-way with Coach Fedora and he was elated."

How do you feel?

"I feel great. It's one of the best days of my life. This was a big lifetime decision -- most people just look at it for college. I'm definitely really excited."

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