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January 3, 2005Talk about this story on The Bell Tower
No other recruiting visits. No more looking around.
Mark Paschal, one of the North Carolina's highest-ranked commitments and a three-star recruit, made those big decisions over the Christmas break.
"I decided that Carolina is where I definitely want to be," Paschal said. "I sat down over the holidays and thought about where I can see myself in the future and what was important to me. I can't go wrong with Carolina. My family lives two hours from Chapel Hill and I always grew up rooting for UNC."
Paschal, a 6-foot-1, 221-pound senior fullback/linebacker from Charlotte Latin High School, committed to UNC in early September. But with concern over John Bunting and his staff's job status and more than a dozen scholarship offers from Division-I programs, he continued to consider other schools.
Paschal said he seriously looked at Clemson, UCLA, South Carolina and Vanderbilt until recently. He also has offers from Duke, Georgia Tech, Marshall, Mississippi State, Northwestern and others.
But, Paschal said he will only make one official visit and that will be to Carolina Jan. 21.
"It's a very big relief knowing that I am going to Carolina," said Paschal, who made three unofficial visits to Chapel Hill this season. "It's the right place for me and it gives me some security."
Attending the Continental Tire Bowl last week only reaffirmed that feeling. Paschal and his family, including father Doug, a former Tar Heel who ranks No. 14 on the school's all-time rushing list, were among over 60,000 UNC fans who watched Boston College comeback to beat the Tar Heels 37-24.
"It was a great experience and a good game," Paschal said. "It was enjoyable and really encouraging to see all the Carolina fans."
Paschal is ranked the No. 10 fullback in the nation by Rivals.com, but he expects to be playing on the defensive side of the ball for the Tar Heels.
"The UNC coaches actually want me to play linebacker and I'm excited about it," Paschal said.
Paschal played both positions this past season, when he led Charlotte Latin back to the NCISAA Class AAA title game.
Paschal is reportedly academically qualified with a 3.1 GPA and a 1120 SAT.
Talk about this story on The Bell Tower