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UNC Recruiting 10/25: 3 commitments highlight a big week for UNC football and basketball

Football landed two in-state recruits, while basketball nailed down their fourth recruit for 2020

NCAA Basketball: ACC Media Day Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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.
  • 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

Name Position Height Weight Rating Positional Rank School Location
Name Position Height Weight Rating Positional Rank School Location
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

Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location Status
Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location Status
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

Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location
Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location
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