UCLA Commitment Visits UNC

Among North Carolina's official visitors this past weekend, UCLA pledge Derrick Bryant was the most unexpected.

"I was talking with my dad and [we felt] I should take at least one official visit just to see what it's about," Bryant said. "[It would give me a chance to] just have something to compare [with UCLA]."

Bryant, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end from Columbus (Ohio) Brookhaven, verbally committed to UCLA in mid-September. He's not prepared to say how that commitment is effected by this past weekend's visit.

"I'm just checking out [UNC] and liked everything I saw," Bryant said. "But I'm not ready to answer questions about [my UCLA commitment] now. I'm still thinking about everything."

Bryant, who officially visited UCLA in September, could visit additional schools. But he doesn't have any particular schools in mind.

"I'll still have to see," Bryant said regarding visiting additional schools. "I'm still thinking. I'm just keeping my eyes and my ears open." On Friday evening, Bryant, along with his parents, arrived in Chapel Hill. Robert Quinn, a sophomore defensive end, hosted Bryant during his stay.

"[Quinn] was a cool guy [and] obviously a good defensive end," Bryant said.

Bryant watched Quinn and the rest of the team practice Saturday afternoon.

"It was like every college practice I've seen," Bryant said. "It was fast paced. It was one thing after the next. I was impressed by the North Carolina players. They have a good team that looks like it can only get better."

Later that night, Bryant attended the UNC basketball game against Presbyterian.

"It was a good basketball game," Bryant said. "I didn't get a chance to see a whole lot of it, but it was good to catch a Carolina basketball game."

However, it was the UNC's coaching staff that most impressed Bryant.

"I learned how much experience the whole coaching staff had," Bryant said. "With Coach [Butch] Davis, he coached at Miami [and] he was a defensive coordinator for the [Dallas] Cowboys when they won the Super Bowl. Coach [John] Blake was the defensive line coach for the Cowboys during the same time. They both won Super Bowls and national championships. I was just in awe about that. I could learn a lot from their coaches."

Bryant met with Blake both Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

"He gave me a brief history of where he has been and the players he has developed," Bryant said. "He's a very impressive person to talk to and he's very respected in the football coaching field."

Before ending his visit Sunday afternoon, Bryant met with Davis.

"Basically, he was telling me he's ready to get this show on the road with winning a national championship," Bryant said. "They need good players on their team to get to that point… He talked a little bit about his background."

Bryant said he will determine the next step in his recruitment, if there is one, after the holidays.

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