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UNC Recruiting week of 8/19: 2021 five-star Paolo Banchero and others have scheduled official visits

As #ListSZN comes to an end, #OVSZN has just begun.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: AUGUST 10 Nike Academy Showcase Game Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to the THB weekly recruiting update! This week we will recap everything that has taken place in both football and basketball recruiting, and we also have some updated rankings for the 2020 basketball prospects. Let’s kick things off by talking a little football.

Football

  • As many expected, 2020 four-star safety Ja’Qurious Conley announced last Thursday that he will be attending UNC next fall. Mack Brown won Conley in a recruiting battle against Duke, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech, with the Gamecocks being the non-UNC favorite. Conley spoke with Inside Carolina shortly after committing about why he decided to become a Tar Heel:

“Honestly, [it was] the energy, the vibes from Mack Brown, and most of the commits -- I watched them [on film] -- being able to play with those guys,” Conley told Inside Carolina. “Me playing with [the commits] is going to increase my game.”

Conley’s commitment gives the Tar Heels the 17th best recruiting class in the country, and the 4th best in the ACC. The three ACC teams ahead of them are Clemson, Florida State, and Miami, with Clemson being the only team to so far to land any five-star recruits.

  • USA Today released a report Tuesday that spending in college football recruiting is on the rise. This is especially true of UNC, as they have increased their spending by 82.5% between 2013 and 2018. During the 2018 fiscal year, the Heels spent $984,871 on recruiting, which is the third highest in the ACC and 21st nationally. Now that Mack Brown has returned, it’s very possible that we could see that number hit the $1,000,000+ mark, as he continues his quest to win back the state of North Carolina and land top prospects within the footprint he has established.
  • As great as the 2020 recruiting class has been going for the Heels, it could get much better depending on how things play out with five-star defensive end Desmond Evans. Considered as a favorite to commit to UNC, Evans plans to release his top five list soon, which may include schools like Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State. This is a huge situation to keep an eye on, because if Mack Brown can land that high quality of a recruit over traditional powerhouse teams, Carolina football would enter a stratosphere that they haven’t entered since...well..Mack Brown was here the first time. Remind me what the previous coach’s name was again?

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 9 Morrilton Morrilton, AR
Ethan West ILB 6'4 225 4-Star 14 Cosby Midlothian, VA
Kedrick Bingley-Jones DT 6'5 266 4-Star 16 Providence Day Charlotte, NC
Cameron Roseman-Sinclair DB 6'0 183 4-Star 21 Myers Park Charlotte, NC
Ja'Qurious Conley S 6'2 190 4-Star 24 Northside Jacksonville, NC
Josh Downs WR 5'10 165 4-Star 41 North Gwinnett Suwanee, GA
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
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
Elijah Green RB 5'10 190 3-Star 53 Blessed Trinity Catholic Roswell, GA
Malik McGowan OG 6'4 315 3-Star 62 Charlotte Catholic Charlotte, NC
Ray Grier WR 6'1 204 3-Star 63 South Point Belmont, 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

Basketball

  • 2021 five-star prospect Paolo Banchero has scheduled five of his official visits that will take place between September and January. One of those visits will be to UNC on September 27th, which is the same weekend that Late Night with Roy Williams will take place, as well as the football game against Clemson. Other schools that Banchero scheduled visits with are Kentucky, Duke, Tennessee, and Washington, who is currently considered the favorite according to the 247 Sports Crystal Ball.
  • A week before Banchero’s arrives in Chapel Hill, four-star point guard Caleb Love will be in town for his official visit. It was announced this past weekend that Love will officially visit UNC as well as Indiana, Louisville, and Kansas. Arizona, the remaining school on his list, did not receive an official visit, but there may be an unofficial visit planned in the near future. Love is the fourth-best point guard in the country, and is the 24th best player in the country according to the 247 Sports Composite.
  • The last official visit that was scheduled recently was by four-star point guard R.J. Davis. He plans to visit Chapel Hill the weekend of October 11th and also plans to visit Pitt, Marquette, and had previously visited Georgetown. Davis is currently a favorite to play for the Panthers, but we could see things become a bit less clear following his visits. Davis is the 69th best player in the country, and is the 8th best combo guard.
  • The one big-name player that scheduled official visits that did not schedule an official visit with UNC is Greg Brown. The top ten recruit announced that he will take visits to Auburn, Memphis, Texas, but still hasn’t worked out the logistics with UNC and Kentucky. Brown’s father spoke with 247 Sports and had this to say about getting things worked out with the two schools:

“We haven’t set up the Kentucky one yet and we haven’t set up North Carolina, but North Carolina we will try to do those one of their big games,” he explained. “We’ve gone to the Duke game, so I would probably want to see them play Virginia at home if that happens or another game. Then kind of pick and choose a Kentucky game and what sets up to be a big match up.”

  • Finally, as mentioned at the beginning of this article we have a number of updates in the recruiting rankings for the 2020 class. Check out the recruiting board below and see what changed, as a few players that were listed as four-star prospects moved up enough to earn their fifth star.

UNC Basketball 2020 Offers

Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location Visit?
Name Position Height Weight Rating National Ranking School Location Visit?
Cade Cunningham PG 6'6 215 5-Star 2 Montverde Academy Arlington, TX (hometown) 9/27
Ziaire Williams SF 6'7 175 5-Star 5 Notre Dame Sherman Oaks, CA
Greg Brown III PF 6'9 195 5-Star 7 Vandegrift Austin, TX
Isaiah Todd PF 6'10 195 5-Star 10 Trinity Academy Raleigh, NC
Jaden Springer SG 6'4 195 5-Star 13 IMG Academy Charlotte, NC (hometown) 9/27
Walker Kessler C 6'10 225 5-Star 15 Woodward Academy Atlanta, GA 9/20
Bryce Thompson SG 6'5 175 5-Star 18 Booker T. Washington Tulsa, OK 9/6
Caleb Love PG 6'3 170 5-Star 24 Christian Brothers College St Louis, MO 9/20
DJ Steward PG/SG 6'3 165 4-star 26 Whitney Young HS Chicago, IL
Earl Timberlake SF 6'6 215 4-Star 28 DeMatha Catholic Hyattsville, MD
Hunter Dickinson C 7'2 255 4-Star 29 DeMatha Catholic Hyattsville, MD
Dawson Garcia PF 6'11 220 4-Star 32 Prior Lake Prior Lake, MN
Puff Johnson SF 6'7 185 4-Star 45 Moon Area HS Coraopolis, PA
R.J. Davis PG 6'0 155 4-star 69 Archibishop Stepinac White Plains, NY 10/11

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 19 South Central Winterville, NC