After de-committing from Maryland in late December, things moved very quickly for four-star offensive guard Jared Cohen - who, when he committed to the Terrapins back in February, was the initial member of Randy Edsall's 2014 class. It was believed that Cohen would then look towards Penn State. New coach James Franklin had other plans, though, and decided not to pursue Cohen.
North Carolina - led by offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic - entered the mix, and quickly established strong relationship with Cohen. After exchanging several phone calls with Kapilovic, Cohen took an official visit to UNC's campus last weekend. Less than a week later, he became the latest addition to a class that most thought was already at capacity.
According to what Cohen explained to TarHeelIllustrated.com, this straightforward approach was just what he was looking for: "When I went down there, it was really nice, just as a I expected. The coaches were great, too. I thought they seemed honest and made it clear that they really wanted me." While on the visit, he stayed with Landon Turner and Caleb Peterson - two of the Tar Heels talented guards.
Cohen hails from the Baltimore area, where he played his prep ball for Owings Mills (MD) McDonogh School. 247Sports.com ranks Cohen as the No. 17 OG in the country, and the fourth overall player in the state of Maryland. Rivals.com lists him as the No. 14 guard in the nation.
Just how quickly did UNC work to land Cohen, you ask? Well, according to the 6-3, 305 pound guard, their Belk Bowl win over Cincinnati was the first time he'd watched them play this season. "I watched their bowl game and that was my first good impression of them. They've been in contact with me pretty much every day and have been showing me a lot of love."
His commitment, however, does come at an interesting time for the Heels. While Larry Fedora will certainly be happy to add another talented lineman to his roster, Cohen's pledge raises UNC's 2014 class total to 22. Now, this means Carolina is currently over their scholarship limit for the upcoming signing period.
TarHeelIllustrated.com proposed the idea of grey-shirting Ayden Bonilla - a three-star safety from Georgia - as a potential solution to to issue. It will be interesting to see how Fedora and his staff play this one.
Check out Cohen in action, blocking for McDonogh during his junior season.