Carson's grandfather, Tom Higgins, played football at UNC followed by a three-year career in the NFL in the 1950s. Carson's idolization of his grandfather indirectly led to his UNC visit.
"Ever since I was little I wanted to follow in his footsteps," Carson said. "Playing at UNC was a dream of mine ... It's just a place I've always liked."
The summer visit was Carson's first to Chapel Hill and it lived up to the high expectations he placed on the college town.
"I liked the campus a lot," Carson said. "It was a really nice place. It seemed liked a pretty safe place, as well. The weather was nice and, from what I hear, it's nice all year round.
"I like how the campus wasn't overwhelming. It wasn't really small, but then again you could ride a bike or walk from one end to another – no shuttle buses to get around."
Last summer, Carson also made stops at Duke, Maryland, NC State, Rutgers, and Virginia. He unofficially visited Penn State, Rutgers, and Stanford this past spring and is looking to make several trips this summer including a trek to Boston College.
Following a junior season in which Carson was named all-conference and second team all-state and helped Southern Regional to its winningest season in school history, UNC extended a scholarship offer.
Carson currently holds 13 scholarship offers, including grants from Boston College, Northwestern, Penn State, Rutgers, Stanford, Syracuse, and Virginia.
Ideally, Carson said he would prefer to make a verbal commitment before his senior football season kicks off. However, he won't rush a decision.
With plenty of options and a sufficient amount of campus visits, Carson is getting closer to naming a leader.
"I think right now, they're all even, but I think I like Penn State and Rutgers a lot for two completely different reasons," Carson said. "I like Rutgers because they excited me with finally having a winning season and gave New Jersey a team to cheer for. It would be cool to be part of that and help it out. Whereas Penn State has a big tradition and just an unbelievable place to play linebacker at and playing Big Ten football is something I probably won't be able to imagine unless I went there."
UNC isn't far behind Carson's co-leaders.
"I think [the Tar Heels] are up in the top five," Carson said. "I feel like, to me, UNC and UVa are very similar. But I do like both those schools."
Working against UNC, which has John Lovett handling Carson's recruitment, is the recent lack of communication.
"That's the thing, I haven't really heard from them in a while," Carson said. "I don't really know what's going on with them. I have interest in their school, but they just really haven't stayed in contact with me that well."