Ray Vohasek “didn’t get recruited out of high school,” the McHenry East graduate said.
As in zero interest. Not lightly recruited. Not a little bit of interest. None.
A lot can change in a year and a half.
Vohasek committed to play Division I college football at North Carolina next fall after he finishes his last semester at College of DuPage in May. Vohasek committed on Tuesday, choosing coach Mack Brown’s Tar Heels over other D-I offers from Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Oregon State and Tulsa.
Vohasek was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, last weekend to meet with the new coaching staff.
“I just think they really needed me,” Vohasek said of UNC. “They graduated four or five guys [on the defensive line]. They’ve got a couple of older guys, but a lot of freshmen. They have a need for my position.”
Shortly after he was hired, first-year Tar Heels defensive line coach Tim Cross flew out to meet with the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive lineman.
“He came down and said, ‘We need you,’” Vohasek said. “The whole reason I went on that second visit was to meet the whole coaching staff. I already loved the university and what they had to offer.”
The expectation is that Vohasek will be a versatile D-lineman with the ability to play every position on the line.
Vohasek will have three years of eligibility remaining after missing all of the 2018 season following shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. As a freshman at DuPage in 2017, he led the team with 7 1/2 sacks and 11 tackles for loss as DuPage’s only freshman starter on defense that season.
As a high school senior in 2016, Vohasek helped McHenry return to the playoffs for the first time in nine years. When he first arrived at DuPage, he initially tried to play tight end, but that “wasn’t clicking.” The move to defensive line proved a revelation.
His freshman film circulated around the internet, catching the eye of D-I coaches. It later turned out that all that impressive film was while he was playing with a torn labrum.
“The only doubt I really had was with the surgery,” Vohasek said. “I didn’t know how schools would react to that, but I come in as a sophomore, so that kind of adds value. They get me for three years instead of two.”
Vohasek should be 100 percent healthy and back in the weight room in about a month and a half after having surgery in July.
On his visit last weekend, Vohasek sat down with Brown. The longtime Texas coach hasn’t coached in five years, but brings with him a sterling resume, which includes the 2005 national championship.
“[He was] telling me what he’s going to do with this program and how he’s changing it,” Vohasek said. “I think they’re close to flipping it, I really do.”
Vohasek couldn't pass up a chance to be a part of it.