"I chose the University of North Carolina because my family can come see me play and support me, it [has] good facilities, it's a great atmosphere at the football games, [and] the coaches are great to me.
"I'm just ready to get out there. I'll be graduating early [to] get ready to play some football for the University of [North Carolina at] Chapel Hill."
When did you actually decide?
"Well, my dad and I have been talking it up, visiting places. It's been hard. [My finalists] are great schools. Everybody doesn't have the opportunity to choose between these great schools [points to the hats in front of him representing Michigan, Virginia Tech, and LSU].
"But, I've been up to Carolina a good bit. It's close to home and I felt good with Coach (Butch) Davis and Coach (John) Shoop. (Shoop) filled me in with the situation on the depth chart.
"I decided I wanted to go there and commit a long time ago, but I just didn't say anything."
How long is a long time ago?
"To be honest, a long time ago is probably like a month to me. I probably made [my decision] a month ago.
"Like I said, my dad and I talked it up. He felt good about it. He is a [Miami] Hurricanes man, so I told him ‘Dad, you might have to change that.' When we made the decision, he was like ‘Whatever makes you happy, son.' That's the best decision."
|"I said 'Coach Davis, I'm coming to play with you because you're a winner.'"|
"He said he's looking for somebody that's mobile, that can do it all – run and throw the ball. He has good quarterbacks now, but some are leaving. He told me if I come in I have a shot. I told him that's great."
What was it about North Carolina that stood out?
"All these are great schools. Getting a degree from North Carolina, that's one of the best things in the country. Just being in North Carolina – it's close to home… My family can see me more and more. I can come back (home) anytime, but I'm not trying to do that. And I just felt like I had a connection with Chapel Hill."
Was there a turning point for you like a visit or was it a gradual thing?
"When I went up to Carolina, I felt real good. I liked the school – every class is close together. The dorm rooms are nice. They even ride scooters on the campus and I like that, too. I felt real good [at UNC] – at home."
When did you tell the coaches?
"I told Coach Davis a month ago when we were up there. My dad and I were just hanging around and just taking visits – going here and there. [My dad] felt good, so I felt good, too.
"I told Coach Davis, I said ‘Hey Coach Davis, my dad and I have been watching you for the longest.' Back when he was at Miami, I wasn't born, but how my dad tells it, [Davis] was a real good person. So I told Coach Davis, I said ‘Coach Davis, I'm coming to play with you because you're a winner.'
"It doesn't matter if it's a freshman, he'll play. It doesn't matter if it's a sophomore, he'll play. I said ‘I like how you do things up here and we're going to turn it around as soon as I get here.'"
Was there one assistant coach that really had a big part in your choosing UNC or was it just Davis?
"Coach Shoop, the offensive coordinator. That's my real dad (points to his father sitting to his right). But, I felt that connection as a dad (with Shoop). He said ‘If you ever need something, you come to me. If you don't even want to sleep in the dorm room, you can come to my house and sleep at my house.' I felt that connection. He was just telling me how he'd take us out to eat, how he [bonds] with the quarterbacks and how they just do stuff separate from everybody else on the team. I was like ‘I need somebody like that when my dad's not around.'"
Now that you're committed, are you going to recruit others to UNC?
"I told Coach Butch ‘As soon as I tell them where I'm going, I'm calling everybody.' As soon as I leave here, I'm calling everybody in the country to come play with me."
How much contact have you had with the other guys that are committed?
"I talk to T.J. (Thorpe) all the time, I talk to (Eric) Ebron – I talk to a lot of people. Every day we converse, they'd ask me if I'm coming. I couldn't tell them the secret now. So now that it's out, I can tell them I'm coming and we're going to go out and recruit some more people so we can win a national championship at North Carolina."
|"As soon as I leave here, I'm calling everybody in the country to come play with me."|
"Like everybody tells me, you're going to have to compete wherever you go. Not to sound cocky, [but] I'm a winner, so I'm going to win a job."
How will getting this out of the way help you this football season?
"I got this out of the way because it's about time to hit that football field down there. I'm just ready to get after it, get [my] high school [team] ready, [and] try to get a state championship for my team. Nothing is going to stop me from doing what I do on the field out there – I'm just going to keep doing what I do. And then after high school there's college. As of right now, I'm focused on winning a state championship for Mallard Creek next year."
How good does it make you feel to get it out and off your chest?
"It's great man. I've been getting aggravated. ‘Where are you going?' ‘I need you to go to VT.' ‘I need you to come to VT.' ‘I need you to come to LSU.' ‘I need you to come to Notre Dame.' Like I said, there are a lot of great schools. I just feel good right now – I'm blessed."
Are you done visiting other schools?
"I have an [official] visit to Virginia Tech and Michigan in October and September, but that's it."
Are the UNC coaches aware of those visits?