This week has been a rather unproductive one for most of the Research Triangle due to the big winter storm. What has not been unproductive this week, however, is UNC athletics and all of the recruiting news that has come down the pipeline. Football especially has had some rather big news release, while in basketball we are still awaiting one of the crown jewels of the 2018 class to make his final decision this Saturday night.
Just as quickly as he decommitted to the Vols, three-star LB Matthew Flint is now going to be a Tar Heel.
The news broke this past Sunday when it was announced that Flint would decommit from Tennessee after not signing with the Vols during the early signing period. When the Vols let go of Head Coach Butch Jones, Flint decided to explore other options. Tommy Thigpen reached out to Flint shortly thereafter and Flint took a last-minute official visit to UNC before deciding to commit. Flint is the second linebacker to join the 2018 UNC recruiting class.
On the other side of the ball, Harding High School RB Quavaris Crouch is expected to take a visit to Chapel Hill the weekend of his birthday, January 27th. Crouch is the nation’s top recruit in his position for the 2019 class, and is being recruited by programs such as South Carolina, Georgia, Clemson, Stanford, LSU, Ohio State, and Michigan.
What’s intriguing about Crouch is that he may not end up playing running back at the college level. He also played on the defensive side of the ball this past year, recording 48 tackles and 14 sacks. Crouch’s head coach Sam Greiner spoke with the Charlotte Observer about why Crouch may switch positions at the next level:
“He’s the best running back, no doubt, coming out (of the 2019 class),” Greiner said, “but he understands, long term, what the deal is with running backs. (Pittsburgh Steelers) star Le’Veon Bell is the best running back in the (NFL) and he may get franchise-tagged again and he can’t get a long-term contract. And Quavaris still has that baby face. There’s a chance he grows another inch and gains another 25 pounds, especially once he gets to a college on a (training table). So he could be 6-3, 265 and be the next Lawrence Taylor, and I’m not just saying that. He’s that special.”
Crouch plans to start making his official visits this spring, taking advantage of the new rule change that allows juniors to take their visits from April to June instead of having to wait until September of their senior year. At his native position, Crouch finished this past season with 3,283 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns.
Roy Williams realistically should’ve been getting ready to take on reigning ACC Coach of the Year Josh Pastner and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this Saturday at the Dean Smith Center. Perhaps he realized that watching the Jackets take on Virginia provides the worst film ever to create a scouting report from (as I’m writing this the ACC Network Extra got so bored it started experiencing “technical difficulties”), or maybe he is trying to illustrate just how important five-star Zion Williamson is to what he would like to accomplish next year with the 2018-19 Tar Heels.
Williams payed Williamson a final in-home visit last night before the big decision Saturday night at his high school in Spartanburg. Williamson’s final schools he’ll pick from are Clemson, South Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and of course, UNC. There has been a lot of buzz that Clemson is the front-runner to land the six-foot-six forward, but he recently told Inside Carolina that he doesn’t feel any pressure to stay in-state.
While he may not be feeling any internal pressure to attend Clemson, that isn’t stopping his peers that have committed to each school (except South Carolina) from applying their own pressure. Yesterday a video released featuring top recruits from each school making a final pitch to Williamson as to why he should attend the institution they have commited to. Unbiasly speaking, UNC signee Coby White may have given the best pitch to Williamson, pointing out how lethal UNC would be with him added to the class and the family atmosphere that will await him.
Saturday should be a very interesting night. UNC fans will want to make sure they stay tuned for the announcement, as it is very likely that whichever school Williamson picks he will be involved with the Heels in some capacity next year. Aside from Duke and Clemson, UNC will play Kentucky next year as well. With all of that said, I will leave you with this awesome quote from Coby White:
“You know we all gonna eat, we all gonna kill, but if you want to come be a winner, you know what it do --- Come to UNC-Chapel Hill.”