Proehl's Perspective

Proehl's Perspective

North Carolina pledge Austin Proehl attended Saturday's surprising Tar Heel loss and offered his first-account of -- and reaction to -- the experience.

"I feel like no matter what happens this year, I'm in," Proehl said. "I didn't pick Carolina because they were a winning school and they won in the past. I picked Carolina because it's where I felt at home and it's where I'm comfortable.

"I think that's why a lot of our recruits have picked Carolina. We're comfortable with our coaches. I love the coaching staff."

That coaching staff was up front with all the recruits who were in attendance.

"After the game [on Saturday], they came out and talked to us. They told us that they're just going to keep working, because that's all you can do."

Proehl, a 5-foot-10, 168-pound wide receiver from Charlotte (N.C.) Providence, may have a different prospective from most recruits. His father, Ricky, played 17 seasons in the NFL including four that ended in the Super Bowl. Proehl's father is now the Carolina Panthers' wide receivers coach.

"I have a dad who's a coach that has already lost two games this year," Proehl said. "It's disappointing to lose and we know that as football players. All you can do is keep working, go watch the film, and get better from it."

Despite being around the game all of his life including at the professional level, Proehl believes most recruits share his mindset.

"We're all football players and we've all lost games," Proehl said. "We've all had to come back to practice after a tough loss to a team you think you should have won. Obviously, it's hard. It's definitely one of those deals where it's a hard thing to go to practice and answer questions like ‘How did you guys lose?' But you just have to keep working."

Watching from the recruits' section, Proehl received a great view of what went wrong against East Carolina.

"I think that the offense just didn't get clicking," Proehl said. "I think that a bunch of stuff just didn't happen that they wanted to happen. A.J. Blue said that they underestimated them. I think a lot of people underestimated them. [ECU] is a good football team – they almost beat Virginia Tech.

"Their quarterback came to play; he definitely tore up our defense a little bit, but I think our defense is good – we almost beat Georgia Tech. I think we're only going to get stronger from this. It's going to be a big week this week and I think we're going to come out and get a big win over Virginia Tech."

Regardless of the game's outcome, Proehl, who has attended both of UNC's home games this season as well as two others last season, said he appreciated the changes UNC has made to improve its game day atmosphere.

"I think everything that they're doing is bringing so much life to the game," Proehl said. "… All the extras from the DJ to the fireworks to Tar Heel Town make the fans more passionate about football. It's cool for the players and the recruits to see how passionate the fans are. It definitely makes everything more live. It's cool to see how the fans really get into it and how much they care."

From a recruiting standpoint, UNC had a full house on Saturday. With the 2014 class near completion, the majority of the visiting recruits were underclassmen. Proehl used the opportunity to convert from recruit to recruiter.

"I worked out with [Juval Mollette] before and I sat with him the whole game," Proehl said. "We talked a lot about [recruiting]. I asked him what's his deal, what's he leaning towards, and how does he feel. He's definitely one of the ones I want, because he's a great kid and he's going to work hard and he's obviously a great player.

"I talked to a bunch of them. I talked to Mike Hughes. I heard he's a baller. I'm sure he'll be able to help the defense out."

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