Brazinski Researches UNC on Visit

During his North Carolina official visit over the weekend, Mark Brazinski, as he says, "left no stone unturned" in fully investigating UNC from both a football and academic standpoint.

"Between my parents and I, we had to ask over 168 questions," said Brazinski, who wears the No. 68. "We sat down with academic people, we sat down with coaches, we sat down with players – anybody we could talk to and ask questions, we did."

Brazinski, a 6-foot-3, 297-pound offensive lineman from Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata, was impressed by the answers he got to his many questions.

"I feel they have a really good attitude with how they're approaching everything," Brazinski said. "The school is phenomenal academically – they're 32nd according to US & World Report [and] their business school according to business week is 12th. They're really serious about football and schooling and they presented that very well."

Brazinski says he needs to finish taking his visits before establishing a favorite school. He doesn't expect to use all five of his official visits, predicting that he'll take at most three.

However, the only other Division I-A school under consideration, outside of UNC, is Boston College. Brazinski is scheduled to officially visit the Eagles on Nov. 8, the weekend they play Notre Dame.

Additionally, Brazinski plans to take unofficial trips to several Ivy League schools.

An Under-Armour All-American selection, Brazinski is looking to announce his collegiate decision during the game on January 4.

On Saturday at approximately 11:30 am, Brazinski arrived in Chapel Hill with his parents in tow.

During his stay, which covered three days, Brazinski was provided three different hosts: Zack Pianalto (Saturday), Morgan Randall (Sunday), and B.J. Phillips (Monday).

With a noon kickoff, Brazinski's first activity was unsurprisingly the UNC-Boston College game.

"It was one of the bigger stadiums I've been in," Brazinski said. "The precipitation, I feel, prevented fans from showing up and prevented the players from doing the Well Walk, which to my knowledge is one of the bigger traditions. Even with that said, there was a great support, a great fan base – people were going absolutely nuts. One thing I thought was kind of cool was that they had fireworks after every touchdown."

During the actual game, Brazinski paid particular attention to UNC's offensive line play.

"It's kind of funny, I'll watch how the center is playing [and] how the guards are playing, and I'll have to turn to my mom or my dad ‘Hey what just happened [on that play], I didn't even see,'" Brazinski said.

Following the game, Brazinski went to the locker room where he spoke to primary recruiter Sam Pittman and was introduced to several players. He then had dinner with the coaches, which included what he described as "the biggest steak [he's] ever seen in [his] life," before spending time with Pianalto and other players.

"I got to meet some more of the players and see what their social life was like," Brazinski said.

Sunday, after meeting with members of the academic staff and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Connors, Brazinski did what he described as "the coolest thing ever": a golf cart tour of the campus.

"It was awesome," Brazinski said. "The campus was definitely intriguing. It had its own feel. I saw many different pieces of other campus there; a good melting pot, if you will, of a campus.

"One quad reminded me of Princeton because it was very verdant, very lush. Another one, the size of it, reminded me a little bit of Penn State and how it was a college town. There were a couple of blocks that reminded me of the University of Pennsylvania, a city-type school. And there were a couple of places that were wide open that reminded me of Bucknell, where my brother goes to school."

Sunday also included a one-on-one meeting with Pittman, who coaches UNC's offensive linemen.

"He showed me where I fit in, he told me about his philosophy [and] a little bit about himself, and he showed me a couple of their protections and a little of their plays," Brazinski said. "He kind of grilled me – gave me a quick overview – like ‘Ok what do you think will happen on this play and this play and this play.'"

Pittman projects Brazinski as a center, his high school position.

"He sees that I obviously need a year or two to develop and he feels that with some good ole' fashion hard work and some film study and time in the weight room, that I might be able to push my way onto the [starting] line," Brazinski said.

Most of Monday was spent tagging along with Phillips to several of his classes.

"I sat in on business classes at different schools, so I was interested to see the dynamic of the students and the professors," Brazinski said. "I wanted to see how it is put together and just kind of evaluate the business program for myself."

One of the final activities of Brazinski's trip was the customary meeting with Butch Davis.

"When we talked to him, we talked to him about the school, we asked him about his credentials, we asked him about how long he would be there, his philosophy," Brazinski said. "I thought it was a very good meeting."

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