North Carolina football continues to rack up verbal commitments. On Thursday night, wide receiver JJ Jones verbally committed to the Heels, becoming just the second out-of-state recruit to join the 2021 class. The announcement came via Twitter, pretty much by surprise as he had only let us know he’d be committing some time this week:
The 6-3, 195 wide receiver plays for Myrtle Beach High School in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. All three main recruiting services are in relative agreement about his status among fellow South Carolina recruits, but don’t have much of a consensus about his overall rating. As a junior, he caught 16 touchdowns and gained over 700 receiving yards.
Rivals: WR, 3-star, NR (national), NR(position), #5 (state)
ESPN: WR, 3-star, NR (national), #103 (position), #6 (state)
247 Sports (organic): WR, 4-star, #NR (national), #50 (position), #3 (state)
247 Sports (composite): WR, 3-star, #425 (national), #69 (position), #3 (state)
A consensus three-star wide receiver, Jones’ commitment helps Phil Longo maintain a deep and talented WR room. He joins Gavin Blackwell and Kobe Paysour as the third WR to commit for this class.
At 6-3, Jones will eventually provide a big outside target. Whether he evolves into a deep threat down the sideline like Mack Hollins or a big body on the boundary like Beau Corrales remains to be seen. But, as is the case with most recruits under this coaching staff, Jones presents options and versatility.
247 Sports’ Charles Power gave the following analysis this past February. (It can be found Jones’ player profile page).
Has a developed build with a relatively filled out frame and muscle mass. Has tested as a good athlete and ran well at college camps. Productive as a junior in his first season playing for one of the better high school programs in South Carolina. Scored on one out of every three receptions as a junior. Projects as an outside wide receiver. Dangerous after the catch with the ability to rip off long runs on tunnel screens. Capable of making acrobatic catches and beating defensive backs to the ball in-air. Will need to continue improving his ability to separate within the route and consistency with ball skills on a catch to catch basis. Projects as a Power Five starter with the upside to develop into a NFL Draft pick.
Jones is the 15th verbal commit for UNC in the 2021 cycle. He is just the second from outside of North Carolina, making this recruitment a little more intriguing. Mack Brown’s staff has placed an emphasis on homegrown talent this year, so to go outside the state for a wide receiver - a position of relatively little need - indicates the staff has high hopes for his future production.
He selected UNC over hometown South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi State.