Welcome to this week’s recruiting update! In this edition of our weekly recruiting news we’ll discuss some UNC players rising in the college football rankings, touch on UNC’s national recruiting ranking as a whole, and discuss what Roy Williams has been up to now that he is able to communicate with prospects. Without further delay, let’s dive in.
- 2021 UNC commits Keeshawn Silver, Power Echols, RaRa Dillworth, and Caleb Hood received some good news this week: all of these players made a reasonable leap in the national rankings. 247Sports and Rivals.com updated their individual site rankings, and here’s how things shook out:
-LB Keyshawn Silver rose from No. 92 to No. 62 nationally
-LB Power Echols rose from No. 196 to No. 162 nationally
-LB RaRa Dillworth rose from No.162 to No. 122 nationally
-Caleb Hood, who could play one of various positions this fall, is the 630th best player in the country, but in 247Sports’ rankings moved up from a three-star to a four-star.
Needless to say, things are going extremely well for the Tar Heels going into Mack Brown’s second year back. UNC now has the fourth-best recruiting class in the country directly behind Clemson, and they are smoking every other team in the ACC. The next best recruiting class behind the Heels is Miami, who have the same amount of commitments but have four fewer four-star recruits. Is that good? It seems pretty good.
- Speaking of pretty good, one of the unsung heroes in the second iteration of the Mack Brown Era has been defensive coordinator Jay Bateman. He has been crucial in helping the Tar Heels repair what was maybe the most broken side of the ball during the Larry Fedora days, and he’s doing it after a season in which he had a surprisingly good defense with Fedora’s guys. This fall we will see some of the talent that Brown and Bateman have handpicked, but they have been loading up even more talent for 2021. The most recent commit? Jahvaree Ritzie.
247Sports got to talk to Ritzie following his commitment last week, and he made an extremely interesting comment in regards to why he chose Carolina. How interesting? When discussing his commitment he said, “I think we’re going to win a National Championship.”
It’d be easy to ride off this statement as a thing that players say, but this statement makes it very clear that Mack Brown is doing a very good job of selling UNC to players. To convince a player who had South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Ohio State on his list that the Tar Heels have a shot at winning the national title isn’t a small feat, and the exciting thing is that Mack Brown is very capable of backing up his words. If you were like me and was slow hopping on the Mack Brown train (as I was extremely damaged after Fedora’s last season), now would be a great time to come on aboard.
UNC Football 2021 Commitments
|Tony Grimes||CB||6'0||180||5-star||1||Princess Anne||Virginia Beach, VA||Verbal|
|Drake Maye||QB||6'5||210||4-star||5||Myers Park||Charlotte, NC||Verbal|
|Keeshawn Silver||DE||6'5||236||4-star||5||Rocky Mount||Rocky Mount, NC||Verbal|
|DeAndre Boykins||S||5'11||200||4-star||6||Central Cabarrus||Concord, NC||Verbal|
|Power Echols||ILB||6'1||206||4-star||8||Vance||Charlotte, NC||Verbal|
|Raneiria Dillworth||DB/LB||6'2||185||4-star||9||Glenn||Kernersville, NC||Verbal|
|Gabe Stephens||DB/LB||6'3||205||4-star||11||Mountain Charter||Mt. Holly, NC||Verbal|
|Jahvaree Ritzie||SDE||6'4 1/2||274||4-star||12||Glenn||Kernersville, NC||Verbal|
|Dontavius Nash||S||6'2||170||4-star||14||Hunter Huss||Gastonia, NC||Verbal|
|Kamarro Edmonds||RB||5'11||200||4-star||12||Havelock||Havelock, NC||Verbal|
|Gavin Blackwell||WR||6'0||164||4-star||20||Sun Valley||Monroe, NC||Verbal|
|Eli Sutton||OT||6'7||285||4-star||20||Brentwood Academy||Brentwood, TN||Verbal|
|Jared Wilson||OG||6'4||325||3-star||22||West Forsyth||Clemmons, NC||Verbal|
|Tymir Brown||ATH||5'10||166||3-star||30||Jacksonville||Jacksonville, NC||Verbal|
|Caleb Hood||ATH||5'11||212||3-star||44||Richmond||Rockingham, NC||Verbal|
|Kobe Paysour||WR||6'1||175||3-star||59||Kings Mountain||Kings Mountain, NC||Verbal|
|J.J. Jones||WR||6'3||195||3-star||80||Myrtle Beach||Myrtle Beach, SC||Verbal|
- June 15th marked the day that college basketball coaches were allowed to begin reaching out to potential prospects. One of the players that heard from Roy Williams almost immediately is five-star 2022 point guard Jaden Bradley. The soon-to-be IMG Academy senior discussed in a blog post for Sports Illustrated that UNC was one of a number of schools to reach out to him, and that he was enjoying getting to know the coaches and build relationships with them. Some of the other notable schools recruiting Bradley include UCLA, NC State, Maryland, Florida State, Virginia, Pitt, Kentucky, Kansas, and Michigan. Roy Williams offered Bradley a scholarship back in March, and I have a feeling that he will become a priority as the Heels continue to cycle through one-and-done point guards.
- Another player from the 2022 class that heard from Roy Williams this past Monday was five-star small forward Caleb Houstan. Houstan currently plays for Montverde Academy, which is the alma mater of former UNC player Nassir Little. While he doesn’t have an offer from the Tar Heels just yet, Houstan does currently hold offers from Maryland, Michigan, Seton Hall, Tennessee, and Virginia. What’s interesting about his recruitment process so far is that he just started receiving scholarship offers on May 19th, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we see schools like UNC and others follow suit within the coming months.
UNC Basketball 2021 Offers
|Patrick Baldwin Jr.||SF||6'8||190||5-Star||2||Hamilton||Sussex, WI|
|Chet Holmgren||C||7'0||190||5-Star||3||Minnehaha Academy||Minneapolis, MN|
|Kennedy Chandler||PG||6'1||160||5-Star||11||Briarcrest Christian||Memphis, TN|
|Harrison Ingram||SF||6'7||200||5-Star||15||St Marks||Dallas, TX|
|Trevor Keels||SG||6'5||210||5-Star||16||Paul VI Catholic||Fairfax, VA|
|Hunter Sallis||CG||6'3||165||5-Star||19||Millard North||Omaha, NE|
|D'Marco Dunn||SG||6'4||180||4-Star||73||Westover||Fayetteville, NC|
UNC Basketball 2021 Commitments
|Dontrez Styles||SF||6'6||205||4-star||53||Kinston||Kinston, NC|