Was it just me, or was Early Signing Day extremely muted this year? Maybe it’s because for about 90% of the country, Early Signing Day has just become Signing Day and seniors are committing early, or maybe it’s because we’re still in COVID times and there isn’t really any sports event that feels as magnitudinous as it should, but for whatever reason, it didn’t really seem like there were any big-time surprises, or last-minute switches, or any of the other kinds of drama that have marked Signing Days in the past — certainly none that were on my radar, anyways. One day commitments were unofficial, the next they were binding, and that was that. It’s only good news for UNC, as you might have seen already; all 18 of Mack Brown’s commitments have signed their Letters of Intent to attend and play football for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Let’s briefly wrap that up and get into all the other recruiting news for the Tar Heels in this weeks’ recruiting recap.
- All 18 seniors committed to the UNC football program signed their LOIs on Wednesday, likely marking the end of a historic class, which we’ve given enough superlatives already. Go back and check out Jake’s primers (here and here) for some reminders, but the long and short of it is that in quality, range, and footprint, this is one of the best recruiting classes in recent Tar Heel memory.
- It doesn’t look like Mack Brown and staff are recruiting anybody else in the class all that hard for a February signing. Usually an 18-person class, especially one that’s as good as this one is, would be almost worryingly small, but given that everybody on the roster now has an extra year of eligibility, attrition’s less of a concern for the staff - they’ll effectively be working with 5 classes instead of 4 for at least a couple of years.
- Looking ahead, UNC looks poised to get its first two commitments of the 2022 class in the next week: Tychaun Chapman announces his decision later today, and Tayon Holloway will make his on Christmas. 247’s Crystal Balls project both to the Heels with high confidence. If those predictions hold true, the Heels will start off the 2022 cycle with two four-star prospects from an area that isn’t in North Carolina, but thanks to the influence of Dre Bly (and now Tony Grimes’ father), is quickly becoming a Heel stronghold. Not bad.
UNC Football 2022 Commitments
|Malaki Hamrick||OLB||6'4||205||4-star||12||Shelby||Shelby, NC||Verbal|
|Tayon Holloway||CB||5'11||170||4-star||15||Green Run||Virginia Beach, VA||Verbal|
|Tychaun Chapman||WR||5'10||160||4-star||20||Princess Anne||Virginia Beach, VA||Verbal|
|Trevyon Green||OT||6'7||338||3-star||51||Life Christian Academy||Colonial Heights, VA||Verbal|
- This went kind of under the radar, but on Roy Williams handed out another offer to a player in the 2022 class last Thursday: in-state forward De’Ante Green. Green attends Christ School in Arden, just outside of Asheville, and is the state’s top-ranked player in an admittedly weaker class than normal. Funnily enough, Green released a Top 10 all the way back in October, and UNC was in it — the only school in his Top 10 from which he didn’t have an offer. That could well be nothing more than a marketing strategy, but the best player in the state usually doesn’t have to advertise himself to UNC, so it also could very well be a sign of genuine interest. The other schools in Green’s top 10 were Baylor, Florida State, Gonzaga, Kansas, Georgia, Louisville, N.C. State, Wake Forest, and Tennessee. He also claims offers from, among many others, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and possibly Princeton, according to this Tweet.
- Patrick Baldwin Jr, one of the three prospects in the 2021 class still nominally considering UNC (he, like Chet Holmgren, is widely thought to not seriously be considering UNC), dislocated his ankle in game action earlier this month. His senior season is likely done almost before it started, but it shouldn’t limit him for more than a couple of months. He also shared with Stockrisers that although a random Tweet that claimed he was only deciding between Northwestern and UW-Milwaukee (where his dad coaches, remember) was false, he has cut Virginia and Wisconsin(-Madison) from his Top 10 and is talking to everybody in his Top 8. Also, his Tweet denying that top-2 report is very funny:
UNC Basketball 2021 Commitments
|Dontrez Styles||SF||6'6||205||4-star||58||Kinston||Kinston, NC||Signed|
|D'Marco Dunn||SG||6'4||180||4-star||79||Westover||Fayetteville, NC||Signed|
UNC Basketball 2021 Offers
|Chet Holmgren||C||7'0||190||5-Star||1||Minnehaha Academy||Minneapolis, MN|
|Patrick Baldwin Jr.||SF||6'8||190||5-Star||3||Hamilton||Sussex, WI|
|Hunter Sallis||CG||6'3||165||5-Star||7||Millard North||Omaha, NE|