"That was one of my goals coming back for my senior year. I felt like I could go higher in the draft and my main focus in the fall was to work on a program to improve as a pitcher. I felt like I did that and felt good heading into the draft and I was fortunate to be drafted so early."
What was your feeling about being drafted by the New York Yankees?
"The Yankees are one of those prestigious programs that it is an honor to be part of and just to be part of that organization is a great honor for me."
What was it like to return from Omaha to prepare to sign and begin your professional career?
"It all kind of happened in a flash from the point I was drafted. Of course I was focused on winning a national championship in college and once our season got done I really did not want to hold out for monetary reasons - as a college senior I really did not have much leverage and I wanted to get out there and play. I took two or three days off then got going, headed to Tampa and then they sent me to Staten Island."
What plans have the Yankees prepared for the beginning of your professional career?
"I think it is going to be the same role [as at UNC] - as a starter up here in Staten Island in the short season. Hopefully I will get a good number of starts up here through September. Really it is about me developing as a pitcher and trying to work on my off-speed and locating my fastball. I am looking at it as more as a developing time than as a need to perform kind of time – I'm trying to develop as a better player."
How do you feel your time at North Carolina prepared you for your professional baseball career?
"It is kind of funny because some of those things that we do at North Carolina and as far as the way we act - clean shaven and dressing nicely - the Yankees have the same kind of rules. It has been an easy transition for me because there really has not been a big change. I think that North Carolina is a first class program and when you go and get drafted into another first class program the transition for me has been easy being able to know what it is like to be in a first class program."
What is the highlight of your career at North Carolina?
"Going to Omaha each year. I feel that each year was a different year and a different team. My sophomore year coming in relief against Wichita State in was probably the most special time for me. In general each year going and each different team it was an experience that I could never take for granted and always enjoy in my mind."
What goals do you have for your business career and what plans do you have for after your playing days with your degree from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC?
"Well, you know every minor league player's ultimate goals it to get into the major leagues. That is one of my goals and I am going to try to pursue that goal for as long as it seems reasonable. When it gets to the point where I either make it or it appears that it will not happen I will move on with life. Right now I am just going to focus on baseball and see where it takes me and hopefully the Lord will lead me in the right direction."
What are you going to miss about Chapel Hill?
"Well, everything. It is definitely a whole different experience here in New York. Everything is much more expensive. I will miss that close knit team that we had and the campus. The whole college atmosphere - having thirty guys that are brothers is a little different than here where guys are trying to play to the point where they advance to the next level. I am going to miss that camaraderie and the whole college atmosphere."
How has the adjustment been to professional baseball thus far?
"I would have to say just going to the ball park and playing every day. We were used to playing five days a week, which is kind of close, but here it is much more time. We get to the ball park at 12:30 or 1 and leave at 10 at night. It is a job and you have to get used to the grind each day of showing up at the ball park and trying to get better each day."