Five-star running back recruit Zamir White has finally announced where he’ll be attending college next year, and the Laurinburg, NC, native has selected the Georgia Bulldogs. The consensus for the last several weeks was that White’s decision was coming down to Georgia or North Carolina after the Tar Heels made a strong late push leading up to his announcement.
White expressed a strong desire to be in close proximity to his Scotland County family when considering colleges, and his best friend that he considers more like family, Jonathan Smith, is already a member of the Tar Heel football team. Those factors seemed to work in UNC’s favor as White’s deadline approached. Unfortunately, it didn’t prove enough to keep him in the state.
His decision came down to North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State. Including UNC among those programs speaks volumes on how Carolina’s reputation has improved under Fedora in the last few years, even if Chapel Hill’s distance from Laurinburg played a considerable role.
Georgia was considered the favorite for White for most of his recruitment with his high school coach comparing the Bulldogs to a “steady girlfriend” that had been there the entire time. White would be following in Todd Gurley’s footsteps as a highly rated running back to make the trek from North Carolina to Athens.
Not landing in-state players like White shows that Carolina still has a ways to go before they can be considered a top destination for the nation’s biggest players. The fact that the Tar Heels were so close to coming out on top is certainly an encouraging sign for Larry Fedora and his assistant coaches as they try to elevate UNC’s status in football to national respectability.
It’s disappointing to lose a guy from the state who could have such a profound impact on the program, but the fact that the Heels are getting closer paints an optimistic picture for the future. Recruiting these guys and getting them to stay home in the end is the next step.
One thing that isn’t questioned is that White is a special talent that will bring an incredible boost to the team he suits up for at the collegiate level. The nation’s No. 6 recruit seems destined to be one of the best running backs the state of North Carolina has produced. Unfortunately, he won’t be proving that in Carolina blue.