Austin: 'Davis Has Sparked My Interest'

North Carolina is already feeling the effects of the high profile hire of Butch Davis. Marvin Austin, the nation's No. 1 overall senior prospect, is now giving the Tar Heels serious consideration.

"With Coach Davis getting the job up there it has definitely sparked my interest," said Austin on Sunday evening. "Coach Davis and his track record on the things that he's done and some of the stuff that he's done with defensive lineman has definitely sparked some interest."

Austin, 6-foot-2 300-pound defensive tackle from Washington (D.C.) Ballou, has spoken to Davis on "different occasions" over the phone.

"He seems like a real cool dude – real up-front," said Austin. "He said he's going to change the program that the Tar Heels have had in the last couple of years. He's going to make some great things happen.

"He said when he was getting interviewed for the job he couldn't really find anything negative [with UNC]. He said they have a beautiful campus, a great university, great people down there.

"He said he's looking forward to this season as a rebuilding year and he said he's going to try to get the best [recruits]. He knows it's kind of late, but he's definitely going to try."

Although Davis is entering the race belatedly compared to others involved, Austin admitted that "it's possible" for North Carolina to land the five-star prospect.

"I wouldn't say I'm leaning towards any school," said Austin, who expects a Signing Day college decision.

Austin has already taken official visits to Illinois, Tennessee, and Southern Cal. He missed his official visit to Maryland this past weekend, which he is considering rescheduling, and has an official trip planned with Florida State for January 19th.

While the odds are working against UNC for an official visit, Austin said he will visit Chapel Hill before Signing Day.

"I don't know [if I'll take an official visit to UNC]," said Austin. "I might be able to take an official visit, I might not. I might have to come down there unofficially, but I'll definitely come down there before this whole recruiting process is over."

Although teammate and UNC pledge Lamar Milstead hasn't been overly trying to pursuade Austin, having a familiar face already at UNC can't harm the Tar Heels' chances.

"Milstead hasn't been recruiting me," said Austin. "We're pretty cool; we play right beside each other on that right side [of the offensive line]. We get it done on double teams and stuff. We spend a lot of together. Milstead is a real cool dude. He tells me a lot of things [and] I tell him a lot of things."

Austin and Milstead were among the players from Coolidge to transfer to Ballou before the start of the 2006 season.

With Austin and Milstead anchoring the offensive line and Austin wrecking havoc on defense, Ballou won their first DCIAA Title. On the year, Austin collected 85 tackles including 30 for a loss and 17 sacks.

He is the No. 1 rated defensive tackle in the nation by and the top-ranked prospect overall.

Marvin Austin Profile

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