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An Inside Look at Austin's Day

Here's what Alan Goldenbach passes on from watching Marvin Austin pledge for the Tar Heels earlier today:

Marvin Austin bounced from one television camera to another yesterday afternoon at the ESPNZone, where he made his announcement to sign with North Carolina. Austin, who has long said he hopes to pursue a career in broadcasting once his playing days are over, seemed already well-prepared for that day. There wasn't a camera he didn't mind talking to.

When asked about how he chose his three-button, black pinstripe suit, Austin said, "I was going to wear my brown suit." After pointing to his blue-and-white striped tie - Carolina colors - he added, "but I was like, 'Nah, I've gotta match.'"

While Austin acknowledged the recruiting process can wear on many prospects, he said he felt no pressure to end his recruitment earlier. He said he had a handle on the incessant phone calls, text messages and constant queries from friends.

"For me, it was fun. I had fun meeting people from other schools, meeting other recruits. You've just gotta know how to decipher everything and deal with it. You only get recruited once in your life. You might as well enjoy it.
"Besides, I know how to turn off my [cell] phone."

Austin was asked by several reporters why he chose to commit to North Carolina, which went 3-9 last year, and hasn't had a winning record since 2001, when national-championship-contending programs like USC were rolling out the red carpet for him. Was it perhaps he had family nearby?

"Not that I know of," Austin said, "but once I get a couple of sacks, I know there will be someone like, 'Hey, remember me?'"

Austin said he needed to be close to his family, which was a big part of North Carolina's allure. His family was only too happy to hear that.

"Thank God, I don't have to get on an airplane," said Austin's father, Marvin, Sr. "I don't like flying."

In fact, Austin's uncle, Leonard, accompanied his nephew on his official visit to Chapel Hill last month. When they met Tar Heels defensive line coach John Blake, Marvin Austin felt like he was home already.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "He looked like my uncle. I said, 'You look like twins.'"

But as much as Austin loved the attention, and handled it well, he said he was glad it was now over.
"You don't have to worry about 50 coaches calling you, text-messaging you and people asking you, 'Where are you going to go?'" he said. "I'm going to Carolina. I'm a Tar Heel."

By Josh Barr  | February 7, 2007; 5:28 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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I don't get it. The kid can be a player anywhere, why UNC that's not on an upswing or competitive? Good luck. i would have preferred MD, but... He'll be good, but lets hope he is not playing 1 against 5 for 4 years.

Posted by: RobGreg | February 8, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Great article Alan! As always, your commentary gives a feel of being right in the middle of the huddle!

Posted by: Jay Pope | February 8, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

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