While they came up short in Charlotte on Saturday, Carolina football did get some success on the recruiting trail last week. The Heels picked up commitments from High School WR Rontavius Groves, High School Safety Myles Dorn and JuCo Outside Linebacker JB Copeland. Carolina's recruiting class has now swelled to 24 commitments with a few more targets in the pipeline to potentially have the Heels bring in as many as 27-30 players. Carolina is starting to receive the ever so slight positives of the NCAA sanctions, the Heels are going to stay young for the foreseeable future and be able to bring in large recruiting classes to help build on the success of this season. The Heels could conceivably add 10 players to the roster next year since the Heels only have 17 guaranteed departures from this season. This depth will be important going forward and the fact that the Heels won 11 games this year while still being one of the youngest teams in the conference gives fans a reason to be optimistic that this success can be maintained.
Meet the New Tar Heels:
WR Rontavius Groves:
According to 247Sports, Groves represents Carolina's best recruit in this class with a 92 rating out of 100. Groves is from Nashville, TN and chose the Heels over 17 other schools, including five SEC programs. Groves played both wide receiver and corner in High School but will feature on offense for Carolina. Groves has had back to back seasons of 1000+ yards and has 34 touchdowns over those two years. Groves should be a slot receiver for Carolina as he is only six feet tall. Coach Fedora seems to like outside receivers to be big, Mack Hollins and Quinshad Davis are each 6'4" and Bug Howard is 6'5". Groves could be groomed to replace Ryan Switzer if he can beat out Austin Proehl; but even if Proehl makes the job his own, then Groves should still find his way onto the field in the next two seasons. Groves is too explosive for the coaching staff to keep him off the field and should be breaking big plays for the Heels in the next few years.
DB Myles Dorn:
Dorn was always more likely than not to join the Heels as his father played defensive back at Carolina in the late 80s. Dorn has played both wide receiver and safety in High School but will play defense for Carolina as a safety. Dorn is from Charlotte, and could be the best athlete in Carolina's incoming class. Dorn chose Carolina over 18 other schools, most notably NC State (his brother plays basketball there) and Ohio State. Dorn had six interceptions this past season and could also see time on special teams as a return man at Carolina. Carolina has a decent number of defensive backs on the roster already and is bringing in two other safeties in this class. However, Dorn should become a starter for the Heels over the next few years. Carolina could also experiment with Dorn on offense as he had more than 1300 yards this past season with 12 touchdowns on 95 catches as a wide receiver this past season. Dorn's father Torin Dorn played played football for UNC during the 1980s.
LB J.B. Copeland:
Copeland has excelled in Junior College as an outside linebacker and could immediately replace Shakeel Rashad. Copeland has very good lateral quickness and with a 4.51 40 time, has great edge speed. The Heels were badly exposed down the stretch this past season with their linebackers' inability to hold up in coverage. Copeland could potentially come in and fix this himself on day one. Copeland can also rush the passer, something the Heels sorely need help with. Regardless, Copeland should be the player of these three most able to come in and contribute on day one. The Heels needed help at linebacker down the stretch this season and in Copeland they might have found it.