It was a big week for UNC recruiting. Basketball gave out their last available scholarship (for now), and UNC football hosted a five-star recruit on an official visit. Here’s the quick rundown from the last week.
- UNC lost another close game to Virginia last weekend, but they continue to make progress with recruits off the field. Last weekend, that included five-star recruit in-state recruit Trenton Simpson. The linebacker from Charlotte, NC stopped by for an official visit (just his second overall OV), amidst speculation that he’s close to committing to the Heels. That commitment has not come yet — and isn’t quite a sure thing — but it’s hard to ignore these tweets he sent out on Monday night.
FAMILY... #TarHeels ❄️ pic.twitter.com/Gj2Q93UFCY— Trenton Simpson (@TrentonSimpson_) November 5, 2019
There is no information on when (or if) an announcement may come, however 13 of the 14 crystal balls on 247 Sports indicate that UNC is the favorite.
- Two weeks ago, UNC hosted DT Dontavious Oxendine. The recruit out of Radcliff, KY, who is considered a four-star recruit by Rivals, would add to a defensive line haul that is already among the best in the nation. This week, he announced a commitment date of December 18th. That is the first day of the Early Signing Period. He currently does not have any other visits planned, but there is no indication either positivive or negative if UNC’s official visit was enough to persuade him to come to Chapel Hill.
I will be announcing my commitment to a University on December 18th at North Hardin High School. The ceremony will begin at 3:45 pm.— doubleooooooo (@octaviousoxend1) November 6, 2019
- The Heels have not fallen victim to many decommits in this recruiting cycle, but a recent offer to Jacolby Criswell will catch the attention of die-hard recruiting fans. On Thursday night, Criswell announced the Auburn Tigers have offered the four-star QB prospect. Criswell is currently the Heels’ only quarterback commit for 2020.
Auburn University offered #WarEagle pic.twitter.com/uzlaB2y5uv— Jacolby Criswell (@JacolbyCriswell) November 8, 2019
Sam Howell’s success may have him reconsidering his school choice — and that’s perfectly understandable to those of us with zero knowledge of the conversations that take place behind the scenes. However, Auburn also starts a freshman QB and head coach Gus Malzahn is perpetually on the hot seat because he isn’t Nick Saban or Kirby Smart. North Carolina is certainly the more stable of the two situations, but this one may be tight into mid-December.
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|
- After the commitment of R.J. Davis two weeks ago, all eyes were on a select few remaining targets. On Tuesday night, four-star shooting guard Puff Johnson ended all the drama and committed to Roy Williams and UNC. We broke down his commitment in this article, and Chad and I discussed the decision on this episode of Between the Banners. Puff also released this commitment video. Come for the announcement. Stay for the Cam Johnson cameo.
- The night prior to Puff’s announcement, another former UNC target revealed his college choice. Cade Cunningham will be following his brother to Oklahoma State in what will likely only be a one-year campaign. If he didn’t want UNC — and he had opportunities to commit before UNC closed out the class — at least he didn’t choose Kentucky.
WELCOME HOME!— Barstool OkState (@BarstoolOKST) November 6, 2019
CADE CUNNINGHAM HAD COMMITTED TO OKLAHOMA STATE!pic.twitter.com/nGcAV3gJxD
- Puff’s decision also likely ended any chance of five-star SG Bryce Thompson coming to UNC. Thompson announced his final four earlier in the week. He’s expected to make a decision next week. It, uh, will probably not be UNC. More on that below.
One step closer @TiptonEdits x @BallisWillbrant pic.twitter.com/MKxFcOuYoq— Bryce Thompson (@B3thompson__) November 3, 2019
- So, why is UNC likely done for the moment? Christian Keeling, Justin Pierce and Brandon Robinson will graduate after this season. Cole Anthony is a candidate to the be the #1 NBA Draft pick. K.J. Smith currently owns the rotating scholarship that UNC gives to preferred walk-ons if UNC doesn’t land all of their recruiting targets. That’s a total of five available scholarships. A sixth scholarship may come open in the spring, but right now, there just isn’t room.
- Lastly, if you haven’t kept up with the flood of commitments over the past few weeks, click these links to all of our articles. That includes going all the way back to Day’Ron Sharpe’s decision almost 18 months ago.
June 17, 2018 — Day’Ron Sharpe
September 23, 2019 —Walker Kessler
October 1, 2019 — Caleb Love
October 21, 2019 — R.J. Davis
November 5, 2019 — Puff Johnson
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|