Having graduated from Flowery Branch in December, I decided to spend a couple of weeks in Chapel Hill before I actually enroll on May 15. I picked the first two weeks of spring practice.
The first five practices were “install” – install for everybody on the team - so the first day of practice wasn’t just the first day of practice for me but the first day of practice for everybody else. And then I got to watch the install tapes. I was just trying to learn every little bit from the lingo to the signals.
Getting out there and watching the offense during practice and going through in my head what I’ll be doing helped me a lot. I really wanted to be throwing when I was out there, but seeing what they’re doing was pretty close.
The coaches in the practice atmosphere, they got after it. They just showed me that they want to win championships and they’re going to do everything it takes to do that.
The players responded well to the coaches’ intensity. I think the players were very intense at times. With that high-paced offense, I know they’re not used to practicing like that. But I think they did an awesome job of coming together and really pushing through it.
Outside of practice, I hung out with a lot of the players. I got to eat with them and hang out in the players’ lounge. The players I hung out with the most were Eric Ebron and all three quarterbacks. All three of the quarterbacks are always pushing each other. I definitely felt like everything Bryn Renner does, it has to be perfect or he’s not satisfied. All three worked hard, but you could always tell that they weren’t used to the practice being that fast and hard.
Graduating early is going to give me a head start, because I’m going to get up there a month or so before the other freshmen. I’m enrolling in the first summer semester whereas most of the freshmen are enrolling in the second. Going down to Chapel Hill those two weeks was a huge help, because I obviously didn’t have to focus on school work since I’m not in school, so I was able to do everything football-wise. If I was still in high school, I wouldn’t have been able to do that.
I’m still anxious, but I have a pretty good idea of what to expect once I get to UNC permanently. I know that time management is going to be huge. I know I’ll have to have two hours of study hall every day on top of school and workouts and having to eat every meal. I know it’s going to be tough, but now I know what to expect.