Roy Williams was at it again on Monday night, offering a pair of scholarships to two high school recruits. Both offers became public late on Monday night, which has become a ritual of sorts. Coach Williams and UNC have a consistent approach to vetting their recruits and, more times than not, the offers come via home visits or phone calls at night. Shortly after these chats, news breaks and most of us delay going to bed by an hour or two as we wait for the details to emerge. This process is not revolutionary or overly unique, but those of us at Tar Heel Blog recently dubbed these ‘Scholarships after Dark”. Coming in a close second and third were “Roy’s Scholarship Hotline” and “Night Calls with Roy”.
All sophomoric jokes aside, there are three new recruits in the fold.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, 2019
Bishop Miege HS (Mission, KS)
Starting with the 2019 class, 5-star forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl spoke with Williams on Monday night, and received the offer over the phone. If you put stock in recruiting rankings, he’s listed anywhere from 16th with Rivals to 35th at ESPN. If he continues to build on a strong spring performance, he could follow the paths of incoming freshmen Coby White and Nassir Little. Both those players continued to climb up the rankings throughout their senior years after receiving offers from North Carolina.
Robinson-Earl describes himself as, “a versatile 3/4” who can play inside and outside. Standing at 6’9 and 220 pounds, most reports label him as a high-motor bundle of energy who can score from a variety of spots on the floor. He may not currently have the range from three that Luke Maye has, but players with an ability to rebound, slash, pull up from mid range, or finish with both hands at the rim are always a great addition. With that kind of athleticism, he also may have the potential to guard versatile inside-outside threats that have given UNC trouble over the years.
Robinson-Earl plays for Bishop-Miege in Mission, Kansas. His father also played for Roy Williams at Kansas in the late 90’s. Every little connection helps, right?
Keion Brooks, 2019
North Side HS (Fort Wayne, IN)
Keeping with the Scholarships after Dark theme, Keion Brooks announced late on Tuesday night that he had received an offer from North Carolina.
With point guard Jeremiah Francis already committed, the Heels are in need of a perimeter scorer to round out the backcourt in next year’s class. Brooks, who was 14-28 from three during the last two weekends on the recruiting circuit would seemingly fit that description. Hovering around #30 by most ranking services, Brooks would bring a natural scoring ability and athleticism that has largely been missing from the perimeter in recent years at UNC (this upcoming season notwithstanding).
With Cameron Johnson and Kenny Williams graduating, and Nassir Little possibly leaving after one year, there will be minutes available at both wing positions. Brooks’ ability to score at all three levels would also complement Coby White’s combo-guard talents and Andrew Platek’s long range shootings. The most direct competition would be a senior Brandon Robinson, who can play shooting guard and small forward.
More importantly, Brooks is now the second small forward in the class of 2019 to receive an offer from UNC. Wendell Moore, an in-state prospect and high school teammate of Rechon Black, has held an offer from the Heels since February of 2016. With Moore sitting on that offer for over two years, it’s not unreasonable to expect the coaching staff will begin casting a wider net at the position to fill the expected void at the position.
Day’Ron Sharpe, 2020
South Central High School (Winterville, NC)
Of course, as is common after evaluation periods, UNC wasn’t (and still may not be) done. Focusing their efforts on in-state talent, class of 2020 sophomore Day’Ron Sharpe added the Tar Heels to his list of early offers. Rivals currently has the South Central High School product from Winterville, NC listed as their 90th best player in the 2020 class. However, with two seasons of evaluations remaining, that will change.
Listed at 6-8 and 220 pounds, he’s still developing (and growing). In a perfect world, current Heels Sterling Manley, Brandon Huffman, and Garrison Brooks will all be entering their senior year by the time Sharpe would enter college, so it’s likely the staff sees him as a traditional post. Those are becoming more rare as the game evolves, so if that is indeed the case, it is no surprise the coaching staff jumped on him now. If he develops into a more versatile threat, that’s even better.
Sharpe is the first player in the 2020 class to be offered by UNC, and called North Carolina his “dream school”. Fans can only hope this recruitment goes at the same speed as the recruitments of Manley, Black, White, and Platek. All of those players committed within days or weeks of receiving their offer from UNC.