Charlie Roman had no idea what his standout linebacker thought last week as they visited the University of North Carolina.
Roman and Holy Spirit High School junior Dan Mastromatteo went on an official visit to UNC where they met academic advisors, visited the football facilities, talked to head coach Butch Davis and hung out with the current football players.
Through it all Mastromatteo simply absorbed everything - and never made it known that he loved every minute of it.
"He is a very straight-faced kid," Roman said. "It wasn't until the ride home that he really opened up about how he loved the place.
"He's just like that on the football field too. You wouldn't know if he was winning or losing."
Mastromatteo verbally committed to UNC on Saturday afternoon, becoming an early commit. The 17-year-old visited the school on Wednesday and Thursday. The Tar Heels finished 8-5 last season and defeated Tennessee in the Music City Bowl 30-27 in double overtime.
Mastromatteo, an Absecon resident, had 10 offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina State, Rutgers, Temple and Tulane.
"It's been sort of overwhelming," Mastromatteo said. "When the recruiting class started out, I just wanted to get it done before we started practicing for senior year (on June 27)."
Mastromatteo is ranked 19th overall in the state by Rivals.com. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder had 90 tackles and 11 sacks last season, including an interception. He led the defense and the team to a 12-0 perfect season that included the state non-Public III title with a 14-13 win over St. Joseph-Montvale at Rutgers University on Dec. 3.
"Every kid is different and this is the perfect decision for Dan," Roman said. "He was not super enthralled with the recruiting process. This is a relief for him to find a place he absolutely loved. Dan is just a football player, and he can't wait to put all of this behind him."
Even though Mastromatteo had plenty of choices, he knew UNC was the place he wanted to go once he finished his visit. He had gone on visits to other schools such as Boston College and Rutgers, but he didn't make a long list of pros and cons.
"This just felt right. I didn't want to wait any longer," Mastromatteo said. "I really wanted to play big-time football. Going to UNC, I can do that."
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