FSU Commitment Visits UNC

Listening to the advice provided by his Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes teammates, Justin Bright decided to unofficially visit North Carolina over the weekend, despite being verbally committed to Florida State.

"They just told me they thought that North Carolina was real nice [and] the coaches were cool," Bright said. "… I just thought I wasn't really doing anything and they were playing Notre Dame, I might as well go check out what they were talking about. Marcus [Lattimore] usually doesn't say much about other teams, but he was complementing North Carolina -- a lot."

Lattimore along with Corey Miller and Brandon Willis have made two UNC unofficial visits, with the junior trio's most recent trip coming two weekends ago when the Tar Heels hosted Connecticut.

Bright says his UNC visit Saturday, which he made with his parents, lived up to the hype.

"It was actually a nice drive up there – it was only three hours from where I live, it was a sold out crowd, I got to see the facilities," said Bright, a 6-2, 180-pound safety. "I really liked it."

Bright also noticed the atmosphere created by second-year head coach Butch Davis.

"I know North Carolina is a school that has had some tough years in the past recently," Bright said. "And since Coach Davis has gotten there, things have really turned around. I know Coach Davis was a good coach at Miami. You can just tell he's got everybody believing there.

"I told my parents back whenever he got hired by North Carolina that they were going to be good – be a powerhouse. But I didn't really think that he'd do it that quick – in two years."

The environment was made especially comfortable by several UNC commits that were in attendance.

"I like the [UNC commits]," Bright said. "They were real intellectual, you could talk to them, [and] they were down to earth.

"I met David Collins, he's a good guy. I met Josh McKie. He actually came up to me while we were standing on the sideline before the game. It was the first time I talked to him in person. He was a real cool guy. I sat down and watched the game with him and asked him some stuff about North Carolina."

Despite the positive experiences, Saturday's visit hasn't weakened Bright's pledge to Florida State.

"It was a nice visit and North Carolina is a nice school, but it was just a visit," Bright said. "I was just checking it out."

When area recruiter John Lovett visited Byrnes during the Evaluation Period, Bright had already verbally committed to Florida State. Thus, UNC never got a chance to evaluate Bright and therefore haven't offered.

"Because I've been committed, [UNC] never really started the process of recruiting me," Bright said. "[Lovett] told me that he respected my decision that I was committed to Florida State at the time. So they didn't really recruit me."

If UNC begins to recruit Bright more seriously and extends a scholarship offer to him, things could get interesting.

"I'd be interested in what they had to say and what they had to offer and I guess we'll go from there," Bright said.

"Right now, I'm committed to Florida State and that's where it's going to stay at. That's still the school I want to go to."

Florida State is the only school that Bright has scheduled an official visit with – on Nov. 8 when the Seminoles host Clemson. However, he and Lattimore are already discussing a return to Chapel Hill.

"I think Marcus was actually planning on going back up for another game later," Bright said. "I might come back up with him depending on what I'm doing."

After transferring from Greer (S.C.) prior to his sophomore season, Bright converted from quarterback to safety. He started for nationally ranked Byrnes as a sophomore before he sprained his ankle. He broke out as a junior collecting 114 tackles and four interceptions returning one for a touchdown. Thus far this season, Bright has 40 tackles, two sacks, and three interceptions, and Byrnes is the top ranked high school football team in the nation.

Justin Bright Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories