Collins, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker from Charlotte (N.C.) Berry Academy, selected UNC over scholarship offers from Duke, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville, and NC State.
The battle for Collins boiled down to in-state rivals UNC and NC State in February. But, UNC took a decisive lead following Collins' attendance at its March junior day, which was held in junction with the UNC-Duke basketball game.
Originally, Collins had planned to announce his college decision at UNC's "Fedora Freak Show," but he moved up the decision date to Saturday after attending a spring practice earlier in the month.
Gunter Brewer is Collins' lead recruiter and a major reason for his commitment, but Robert Dinkins warrants an assist. Dinkins, a fellow Charlotte native who verbally committed to the Tar Heels last summer, befriended Collins and doubled as a UNC recruiter.
During his sophomore season, Collins was promoted to varsity where he played alongside two senior linebackers, including Nick Dawson, who currently is a freshman at Louisville. It wasn't until his junior year, though, that Collins truly came into his own. He tallied 110 tackles (74 solo), an interception, three forced fumbles, and returned a recovered fumble for a touchdown.
"He's just a well rounded kid," Berry Academy head coach Andrew Howard said. "He's a good hard worker [that] always wants to get better at what he's doing. He's always asking questions just to find out different things he can do to get better.
"He's such a versatile kid. He's rangy, and has real long arms."
Collins is the third verbal commitment in four days for UNC. Caleb Samuel verbally committed on Wednesday, while Caleb Henderson pulled the trigger on Thursday.
Cayson Collins Profile