Pianalto: 'I Felt At Home At UNC'

For his second verbal commitment as North Carolina's head coach, Butch Davis stole a Scout.com four-star prospect from the coach of the defending national champions, former UNC and current Texas head man Mack Brown.

"I'm committed to North Carolina right now," said Zack Pianalto. "Basically, it was the feeling I got when I visited there. I instantly felt at home even though it's like a thousand miles away. I felt like I was at home with the atmosphere of the town and the coaches that were surrounding me."

Pianalto, a 6-foot-4 210-pound tight end from Springdale (Ark.), originally verbally committed to Texas last spring. Two days after returning from his official visit to Austin the weekend of December 8th, Davis -- who grew up in Springdale and maintains strong ties there -- contacted Pianalto.

"He said to me, ‘I know you're firmly committed to Texas and you're about to enroll, but I got to give you my sales pitch,'" recalled Pianalto. "'If you say no, that's fine, but if you say yes, we'll take it from there.'

"We talked for a little bit and then he asked me if I wanted to set up a visit. I felt like I needed to go check it out just in case it was the right place for me."

The weekend following their conversation, Pianalto officially visited North Carolina. Heading into the trip, Pianalto was prepared to become a Longhorn.

"Honestly, I was still 100-percent committed to Texas," said Pianalto. "I was happy. They've done nothing wrong with my recruitment. They're some of the best people in the world in Texas and on that coaching staff. I was planning on enrolling in Texas in January."

Pianalto arrived Saturday night just in time to have dinner with Davis, Marvin Sanders, and Steve Hagan, who was introduced as the tight ends coach.

"All the coaches were wonderful," said Pianalto. "Coach Hagan, he's a great guy [and] he's a really good Christian guy. I just fell in love with him right when I start talking to him. Him and Coach Davis I liked a lot."

Following the dinner, Pianalto received a brief tour of the facilities, but was given a complete tour of the campus Sunday.

"The campus was beautiful," said Pianalto. "It's one of the most beautiful campuses I've ever seen. It's a lot like where I'm at in Springdale and the Fayetteville area. You got a lot of trees and a lot of hills. It just reminded me of home a lot."

Before exiting Chapel Hill, Pianalto sat down with Davis and Hagan and talked about their schemes and how Pianalto would fit into their plans.

"They want me as a tight end, kind of H-back – I'll move around a lot," said Pianalto.

Approximately a week later, Pianalto was ready to switch his pledge.

"[I decided to de-commit] probably about three days ago," said Pianalto. "I slept on it a couple nights. I got up [Monday morning], called Coach Davis and I told him, [and] then I called Coach [Bruce] Chambers [at Texas] and told him that I made the switch."

Pianalto will not make any additional official visits and plans to leave for UNC the 14th of January and enroll in the spring semester.

Zack Pianalto Profile


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