Kareem Martin, who was one of the top uncommitted football defensive linemen in the country, committed to the University of North Carolina Monday afternoon at a press conference at Roanoke Rapids High.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound defensive end had narrowed his choices to Duke, Virginia Tech and UNC.
Martin said he felt comfortable with the Tar Heel coaching staff and its players and that comfort was the final factor in his decision.
He is ranked No. 5 in the state in The Charlotte Observer top 25 list for the state.
"Kareem really like all three schools," said Roanoke Rapids coach Russell Weinstein. "I one point I just knew he was going to pick Virginia Tech. At another point, Duke was the leader.
"This wasn't an easy decision for him. I think the final factors were that he wanted to go to an in-state school and he had a great relationship with [UNC assistant] Ken Browning.
"After he went on his official visit and met with the Business School at North Carolina and spent time with the UNC players I felt he would be very comfortable there. He liked all three programs, but felt the most comfortable at North Carolina."
Weinstein said Martin thought so much of the Duke and Virginia Tech programs that he wanted to make his decision as soon as possible.
"He didn't wait until signing day because he wanted to give those other schools as much time as possible to move to their next recruits," Weinstein said.
Weinstein said Martin built a solid relationship with North Carolina assistant coach Ken Browning.
The Tar Heels also have a commitment from offensive tackle T.J. Leifheit of Wilmington Hoggard, who is No. 4 on the Top 25 list.
N.C. State locked up a commitment from No. 2 Robert Crisp, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle, last summer.
No. 1 Keenan Allen of Northern Guilford, the nation's top safety prospect according to scout.com, and No. 3 Alfy Hill of West Brunswick, a defensive lineman, currently are committed to Alabama.
The only other Top 25 player in the state who is not committed is defensive end Ethan Farmer of South Columbus. He is expected to pick between North Carolina and Clemson.
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