In the end, Ethan Farmer, a three-star defensive tackle from South Columbus High, went with his childhood favorite.
"This is what I had to do," Farmer said of choosing the Tar Heels.
At South Columbus, Farmer also played tight end. He said North Carolina has also talked to him about playing on the offensive line, at defensive end or as a linebacker.
"It doesn't matter to me," Farmer said.
But it's at defensive tackle where recruiters have him ranked among the nation's best.
Farmer, who's 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, is rated the No. 6 player in the Observer's N.C. Top 25. He gives North Carolina three of the state's top 10 prospects.
He plans to major in either sports medicine or communications.
-- Ken Tysiac