June 20, 2013

Inside the Pledge: Allen Artis

Whoever is in charge of putting together UNC's running list of 2014 commitments had a busy week last week as the Tar Heels got pledge after pledge of high school players telling the coaching staff they would be attending Chapel Hill in a little over a year.

One of those players was Allen Artis who committed on Twitter a short while after Fedora's Freak Show ended Saturday night. Artis' commitment came nipping at the heels of fellow Georgia native and defensive back
Cameron Albright[db]'s commitment to UNC. Albright committed in front of [db]Larry Fedora and his staff seconds after the Freak Show's conclusion.

Tar Heel Illustrated was able to catch up with Artis this week and get his take on making his college selection.

"Pretty good. I just feel like I found my place and I'm ready to compete. Number one, it's a really good school. It's one of the best public schools in the nation," said Artis. "I feel like the chance of playing time is really real. That went into it. It felt like home. I've got family from up there also."

"It just felt right, you know? So I went ahead and did it. I always said if it was the right school, it would feel like the right time. It happened to feel like the right time."

Artis' family has strong ties to the ACC as is father Johnny Artis played at Wake Forest with UNC wide receivers coach {db]Gunter Brewer[/db].

Although Artis says he didn't have much of a relationship with Coach Brewer before being recruited by UNC he did acknowledge there will be plenty of time to get to know him and the other coaches in future years.

"Not really. But I got to know him through the recruiting process. Coach Walt Bell was my main recruiter," said Artis. "They're really excited. They're ready for me to come in."

Someone might wonder, being a former Demon Deacon, if Artis' father might have tried to push his son to play for his alma mater. The younger Artis asserted that certainly wasn't the case.

"They just asked me if it was where I wanted to go, if it was the right place. My Dad played at Wake Forest so he knows all about the ACC territory and everything. That was pretty much it," said Artis.

"Really just building my own name and building my own legacy. Like I said my Dad went to Wake Forest so it's changed for me. I grew up being a Wake Forest fan but I feel like I've found the right fit for me. It's time for me to build my legacy at North Carolina now."

Because Artis committed so closely to when Albright pulled the trigger on his Tar Heel offer, some have wondered if Artis was making sure he didn't lose his spot on the team after. UNC also got a pledge from Ayden Bonilla and the defensive backfield depth chart for 2014 filled up quickly.

"It was a coincidental thing. I knew he had interest in North Carolina but I didn't know he was going to commit that day," said Artis. "Me and Cam Albright got a chance to know each at a few events we did together. I also know Caleb Samuel a little bit. They're good people and good football players as well."

Artis then touched on what kind of player UNC will be getting when he touches down on campus.

"I'm going to play safety. But they have three defensive positions and once I get up there I'll find out more about where I'll be playing," said Artis. "A very hard worker. Intelligent. I put myself in positions to make plays by knowing where I'm supposed to be."

Artis had several other schools that were heavily considering him including N.C. State, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt but ultimately it was UNC that felt like home.

Fedora and his staff have done a phenomenal job mining the gridirons in Georgia. They've now sealed the deal on four Georgia players in this class after hitting on three players from the class of 2013.

A talent rich state, if the Peach State can become a pipeline for the Tar Heels, UNC will be sitting pretty as the rest of the ACC takes notice of their recruiting prowess.

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