"Trey committed to Coach [John] Bunting tonight," his father Bill Brenner told Inside Carolina on Monday.
Although he had an offer from Cornell, as well as other Division I, I-AA and III schools, Trey Brenner chose UNC primarily because he would be able to enter as an invited walk-on this spring, and his long-time affiliation with UNC strength and conditioning coach Jeff Connors.
"It's never been about the money for Trey," Bill Brenner said. "This is the right team with the right timing. It just so happened that they were interested in Trey coming in early. Coach Bunting had only three spots for January and he wanted Trey to have one of those.
"He's basically turning away scholarship offers from other schools."
The Tar Heel coaches were impressed with Brenner's work ethic when he was was at East Chapel Hill and worked out with Connors during the offseason. They got even more interested after seeing his performance following his transfer to Southern Durham, the elder Brenner said.
Spartans' coach Gordon Walters, a former walk-on defensive back at Carolina, was instrumental in getting this done.
"Coach Walters has always approached Trey like, 'Where do you want to be for the next four our five years? Do you want to be at Cornell, Central Florida, or at UNC?'"
According to his Insiders' profile, Brenner has explosive speed, agility and strength. He's a tenacious tackler with quick pursuit, and sheds blockers well to get to the ball. He could be a two-sport star in college, after leading East Chapel Hill to the 3A state baseball championship as a sophomore.
Miller Safrit contributed to this report.