Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know the past seven days were a monster week for UNC recruiting. Both football and basketball saw major movement on their prospective 2020 classes, and continued to position themselves to bring those cycles to a conclusion.
The additions were so impactful, that according to ESPN, UNC basketball now has the #2 recruiting class in the nation. UNC football is trying to catch up with the #15 class in their rankings. That’s, uh, quite a difference from the past five years. Here’s a quick recap and a few tidbits to look for this weekend.
- The fireworks started last Friday afternoon, when five-star defensive end Desmond Evans committed to the Heels. We broke down our analysis (click here), but the simple takeaway is that Evans is one of the top two highest rated defensive recruits in UNC history. Playing for Lee County High School down the road in Sanford, NC, Evans’ commitment is the kind that UNC needs in order to convince other top talent to stay inside the state.
- The good news continued on Monday afternoon, when former N.C. State recruit Stephen Gosnell flipped to the Heels. The wide receiver from Easy Surry High School is teammates with UNC commit Jefferson Boaz and preferred walk-on Landon Stephens. He is UNC’s 14th in-state recruit of the cycle, and the second Wolfpack commit to flip to the Heels since Mack took over. (OL Triston Miller also flipped last December).
- Between those two commitments, a major decommitment took place. Mallard Creek High School’s five-star linebacker, Trenton Simpson, reversed course on his plans to attend Auburn University. On Sunday might, he posted the following tweet, announcing his recruitment was re-opened.
Throughout the week, 247 Sports’ writers and analysts have placed “Crystal Balls” in UNC’s favor. Simpson is considered one of the top two players in the state and an ESPN300 recruit. A commitment to the good guys would have the Heels knocking on the door of a top-10 recruiting class.
- Moving onto the class of 2021, in-state defensive tackle Payton Page dropped his top-11 on Tuesday. Page is currently a consensus top-20 recruit in the class of 2021, and the #1 DT in the nation. He is exactly the kind of talent that has fled the state in recent years. Mack and his staff are looking to change that trend.
Top 11 please respect my decision.... LLM pic.twitter.com/qZoogiOUql— Payton Page (@PaytonPage55) October 21, 2019
- As you know, UNC hosts Duke for the Victory Bell. There is expected to be a large contingent of recruits for both 2020 and 2021. There is a good chance this commitment party continues for a few more weeks as UNC finalizes its class.
UNC 2020 Football Commitments
|Desmond Evans||DE/LB||6'6||240||4-star||2||Lee County||Sanford, NC|
|Myles Murphy||DE/DT||6'4||280||4-star||6||Dudley||Greensboro, NC|
|Jacolby Criswell||QB||6'1||218||4-Star||11||Morrilton||Morrilton, AR|
|Kedrick Bingley-Jones||DT||6'5||266||4-Star||13||Providence Day||Charlotte, NC|
|Cameron Roseman-Sinclair||DB||6'0||183||4-Star||22||Myers Park||Charlotte, NC|
|Ja'Qurious Conley||S||6'2||190||4-Star||26||Northside||Jacksonville, NC|
|Josh Downs||WR||5'10||165||4-Star||36||North Gwinnett||Suwanee, GA|
|John Copenhaver||TE||6'3||210||3-Star||14||Roswell||Roswell, GA|
|Ethan West||ILB||6'4||225||3-Star||17||Cosby||Midlothian, VA|
|Kendall Karr||TE||6'4||230||3-Star||27||Stuart W. Cramer||Cramerton, NC|
|Trey Zimmerman||OT||6'6||294||3-Star||47||Roswell||Roswell, GA|
|Clyde Pinder Jr||DT||6'0||303||3-Star||38||Armwood||Seffner, FL|
|Jefferson Boaz||ATH||6'8||230||3-Star||40||East Surry||Pilot Mountain, NC|
|A.J. Beatty||DE||6'5||250||3-Star||48||Central Catholic||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Jonathan Adorno||OG||6'4||290||3-Star||46||Rolesville||Rolesville, NC|
|Elijah Green||RB||5'10||190||3-Star||55||Blessed Trinity Catholic||Roswell, GA|
|D.J. Jones||RB||5'11||190||3-Star||57||Pine Forest||Fayetteville, NC|
|Cayden Baker||OT||6'6||260||3-Star||56||Fort Myers||Fort Myers, FL|
|Ray Rose||WR||6'1||204||3-Star||68||South Point||Belmont, NC|
|Malik McGowan||OG||6'4||315||3-Star||86||Charlotte Catholic||Charlotte, NC|
|Cedrick Gray||OLB||6'2||190||3-Star||78||Ardrey Kell||Charlotte, NC|
|Kaimon Rucker||DE||6'1||243||3-Star||82||Hart County||Hartwell, GA|
|Elijah Burris||RB||5'10||210||3-Star||95||Mountain Island Charter||Mount Holly, NC|
|Tylee Craft||WR||6'4||170||3-Star||130||Sumter||Sumter, SC|
|Jayden Chalmers||CB||5'11||160||3-Star||136||Lee County||Sanford, NC|
|Stephen Gosnell||WR||6'2||200||3-Star||167||East Surry||Pilot Mountain, NC|
- The big news was the commitment of four-star point guard R.J. Davis out of White Plains, NY. The fourth commit of the class, Davis joins fellow point guard Caleb Love, and centers Day’Ron Sharpe ad Walker Kessler in what is shaping up to be a top-5 class for the Heels. In similar fashion to both Love and Kessler, Davis made his decision just a week after taking his OV to UNC. Our Brandon Anderson gave the run down when he committed on Monday.
- Roy Williams and Steve Robinson were in Oklahoma on Thursday night, making one last push for five-star shooting guard Bryce Thompson. This has turned into a three-school race between UNC, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The longer it drags on (and the further away from Thompson’s official visit in September), the less likely it seems this will turn out in favor of the Heels. Thompson has also visited Lawrence and Norman since he last visited Chapel Hill, so there are multiple factors going against UNC at the moment. This one is expected to wrap up in the coming week(s), but judging by Thompson’s tweet, the UNC staff hasn’t stopped trying to persuade to make the journey to UNC.
- While Thompson weighs his options, UNC is moving along and hosting another shooting guard prospect this weekend. Four-star SG Kerwin Walton will take an official visit with the Tar Heels this weekend. Standing at 6-5, 195-pounds, Walton hails from Hopkins, Minnesota and recently cracked the 247 Sports Composite top-100 rankings, shooting in as the #97 recruit in the nation. That ranking will continue to rise with a strong senior year.
With all of the talk of five-star talent and one-and-dones finding Chapel Hill more desirable than previous years, Walton is on the opposite end of the spectrum. There’s something to be said for bringing in long-term players for stability. Walton would fit that mold, while also filling a gaping need for a more traditional shooter on the wing.
UNC Basketball 2020 Commitments
|Walker Kessler||C||7'0||245||5-Star||15||Woodward Academy||Atlanta, GA||Signed|
|Day'Ron Sharpe||C||6'10||246||5-Star||19||Montverde Academy||Winterville, NC (hometown)||Signed|
|Caleb Love||PG||6'3||170||5-star||21||Christian Brothers College||St Louis, MO||Signed|
|Puff Johnson||SF||6'7||185||4-Star||48||Hillcrest Prep||Coraopolis, PA (hometown)||Signed|
|R.J. Davis||PG||5'11||165||4-star||57||Archbishop Stepinac||White Plains, NY||Signed|
UNC Basketball 2020 Offers
|Ziaire Williams||SF||6'7||175||5-Star||5||Notre Dame||Sherman Oaks, CA|
|Kerwin Walton||SG||6'4||170||4-Star||96||Hopkins||Hopkins, MN|