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UNC Recruiting Week of 6/24: Puff Johnson may be eligible for the 2019 season

Believe it or not, there’s a possibility that someone could land Cam Johnson’s brother sooner than we thought.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Charlotte Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Welcome to this week’s recruiting update! It has been an extremely busy week in both Carolina football and basketball. Mack Brown has continued to do a lot of damage on the recruiting trail, and continues to land recruits to help lead the charge of his 2020 campaign. Meanwhile, Roy Williams sent out a trio of scholarship offers this week, and there’s whispers that a brother of a certain former Tar Heel may actually be eligible to play for the 2019 season. Without further delay, let’s dive into some news.


  • As Akil Guruparan covered earlier this week, 2019 standout prospect Malik Hornsby decommitted from the University of North Carolina. Ranked the 5th best dual-threat QB in the country, Hornsby’s announcement left no bread crumbs leading to why he had a change of heart about playing for Mack Brown. It’s very likely, however, that it has to do with the current quarterback situation for Brown, as he already has a surplus of quarterbacks when factoring in 2020’s Jacolby Criswell with current quarterbacks like Sam Howell and Jace Ruder. As of right now, it’s unknown which school he has his sights set on going forward, but what we do know is that he holds scholarships from powerhouses like Alabama and Auburn.
  • This past Wednesday, Mack Brown and their staff beat Michigan in the recruiting battle to land 2020 target D.J. Jones. His announcement took place on Jones’ birthday, and his commitment came on the heels of his official visit to Michigan just this past weekend. Jones is a 5’11, 190-pound running back from Fayetteville, NC, where he played for Pine Forest High. He is the 39th best running back in the country, and his commitment now gives the Heels the 16th best recruiting class in the country.
  • Last week, the Tar Heels landed commitments from Kaimon Rucker and Jayden Chalmers, both of whom will contribute to the defensive side of the ball. Rucker is a 6’1, 243-pound defensive end from from Hartwell, GA, and Jayden Chalmers is a 5’11 12, 160-pound cornerback from Sanford, NC. Both Rucker and Chalmers attended Mack Brown’s Showtime camp, and their commitments join the list of commits that Brown received shortly after the event concluded.

UNC Football 2020 Commitments

Name Position Height Weight Rating Positional Rank School Location
Name Position Height Weight Rating Positional Rank School Location
Myles Murphy DE 6'4 280 4-star 5 Dudley Greensboro, NC
Jacolby Criswell QB 6'1 218 4-Star 12 Morrilton Morrilton, AR
Ethan West ILB 6'4 225 4-Star 12 Cosby Midlothian, VA
Cameron Roseman-Sinclair DB 6'0 183 4-Star 18 Myers Park Charlotte, NC
Josh Downs WR 5'10 165 4-Star 42 North Gwinnett Suwanee, GA
Ray Grier WR 6'1 204 4-Star 64 South Point Belmont, NC
John Copenhaver TE 6'3 210 3-Star 11 Roswell Roswell, GA
Kendall Karr TE 6'4 230 3-Star 22 Stuart W. Cramer Cramerton, NC
Sean Martin DE 6'6 260 3-Star 28 Bluefield Bluefield, WV
Clyde Pinder Jr DT 6'0 303 3-Star 38 Armwood Seffner, FL
D.J. Jones RB 5'11 190 3-Star 40 Pine Forest Fayetteville, NC
Trey Zimmerman OT 6'6 294 3-Star 41 Roswell Roswell, GA
A.J. Beatty DE 6'5 250 3-Star 41 Central Catholic Pittsburgh, PA
Malik McGowan OG 6'4 315 3-Star 62 Charlotte Catholic Charlotte, NC
LaMareon James CB 5'10 170 3-Star 69 Indian River Chesapeake, VA
Kaimon Rucker DE 6'1 243 3-Star 80 Hart County Hartwell, GA
Cedrick Gray OLB 6'2 190 3-Star 86 Ardrey Kell Charlotte, NC
Jefferson Boaz ATH 6'8 230 3-Star 89 East Surry Pilot Mountain, NC
Elijah Burris RB 5'10 210 3-Star 92 Mountain Island Charter Mount Holly, NC
Tylee Craft WR 6'4 170 3-Star 131 Sumter Sumter, SC
Jayden Chalmers CB 5'11 160 3-Star 150 Lee County Sanford, NC
Rows in bold refer to new additions, while rows in italics refer to recent commitments from more than a week ago


  • As Jake Lawrence covered this week, Roy Williams sent out scholarship offers to three players in the 2020 class. One of those three players is 7’2 center Hunter Dickinson, who is considered to be a favorite to commit to either Notre Dame or Purdue, according to Corey Evans at Rivals. Once the scholarship was offered, Evans stated that he feels like Carolina is a legitimate contender for Dickinson, but he still believes that Purdue is the team to beat. We’ll see if Williams’ staff is able to swing things in the Heels’ direction going forward.
  • Prior to this week, it was reasonable to think that Puff Johnson’s brother Cam getting drafted as the 11th overall pick of the NBA Draft would be the most interesting thing that happened for him this summer, at least as far as basketball goes. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case, as Johnson was ruled ineligible to play his senior year of high school basketball because he played in the high school ranks during 7th and 8th grade.

So what does this mean? According to Rivals’ Corey Evans, it’s possible that Johnson could finish out his high school career at a prep school. However, the most intriguing comment that Evans made is that Johnson could receive enough credits to become eligible for the 2019 college basketball season. If this proves to be true, UNC’s unusually long 2019 recruiting process could get extended into at least July in efforts to bring in an additional small forward to fill out of the depth chart. This is, of course, if Roy Williams decides that exploring this option is worth his while. Other teams that may be in the running for Johnson’s services include Arizona, Notre Dame, and Pitt.

UNC Basketball 2020 Offers

Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location
Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location
Cade Cunningham PG 6'6 215 5-Star 3 Montverde Academy Arlington, TX (hometown)
Greg Brown III PF 6'9 195 5-Star 6 Vandegrift Austin, TX
Ziaire Williams SF 6'7 175 5-Star 8 Notre Dame Sherman Oaks, CA
Jaden Springer SG 6'4 195 5-Star 10 IMG Academy Charlotte, NC (hometown)
Isaiah Todd PF 6'10 195 5-Star 14 Trinity Academy Raleigh, NC
Walker Kessler C 6'10 225 5-Star 15 Woodward Academy Atlanta, GA
Caleb Love PG 6'3 170 4-Star 25 Christian Brothers College St Louis, MO
Bryce Thompson SG 6'5 175 4-Star 26 Booker T. Washington Tulsa, OK
DJ Steward PG/SG 6'3 165 4-star 27 Whitney Young HS Chicago, IL
Dawson Garcia PF 6'11 220 4-Star 29 Prior Lake Prior Lake, MN
Earl Timberlake SF 6'6 215 4-Star 28 DeMatha Catholic Hyattsville, MD
Hunter Dickenson C 7'2 255 4-Star 30 DeMatha Catholic Hyattsville, MD
Cam'Ron Fletcher SF 6'6 180 4-Star 32 Vashon St. Louis, MO
Puff Johnson SF 6'7 185 4-Star 51 Moon Area HS Coraopolis, PA
R.J. Davis PG 6'0 155 4-star 85 Archibishop Stepinac White Plains, NY

UNC Basketball 2020 Commitments

Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location
Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location
Day'Ron Sharpe C 6'10 246 5-Star 22 South Central Winterville, NC