You may have seen Jake’s breaking of yesterday’s big recruiting news, that Mack Brown and his staff have secured yet another commitment from a prospect in the state of Virginia. Trevyon Green isn’t quite as loftily ranked as his predecessors, but he’s a well-regarded recruit and a notable get for a squad with a questionable future at offensive line. That’s not all that’s been happening for UNC’s football or basketball teams’ recruiting this week, though, so let’s get into the rest of it:
After adding Green, UNC’s 2022 class moves up to 15th in the country — not bad for just having three players in the fold. Only 3 of the fourteen teams above them have 3 players: Clemson, Florida State, and Texas A&M, all of which set recruiting goals that UNC probably can’t quite meet yet. After a year that culminated in an Orange Bowl Berth, though, even with a lower amount of in-state talent than the 2021 class, this team should be looking to break into the Top 10 in the next cycle. Pretty much the only thing that stopped them last time was Tony Grimes’ reclassification; you need a 5-star talent to be in the Top 10 most of the time. Travis Shaw could fill that role, if the signs for him remain positive for the good guys.
We’ve been saying that UNC is probably done with the 2021 class after everybody in the class signed on Early Signing Day, but there might be one exception caused by recent events: After Tennessee’s recent coaching staff shakeup, four-star offensive lineman Colby Smith, from Reidsville, NC, decommitted from Tennessee and is now exploring his options, which include Auburn, Kentucky, going back to Tennessee, and, of course, UNC. I haven’t seen anything definitive saying UNC will pursue him at this point in time, but he did reportedly grow up as a UNC fan, so that’s worth monitoring. Given UNC’s relative lack of action in the transfer portal (more on that in a bit), I think some of the unused spots in the ‘21 class may still be available.
Speaking of Tennessee and transfers, former five-star prospect Quavaris Crouch, who committed to Tennessee amongst the various recruiting violations that just got Jeremy Pruitt fired, has entered the transfer portal. Crouch was once a pipe dream in-state prospect for UNC, but has been only a decent starting linebacker for Tennessee after switching positions from running back. In one of the funnier social media mistakes I’ve seen recently, UNC linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen responded to a speculative Tweet that UNC might be interested like this (I think he meant to DM, given who Tweeted it):
That could either mean “he’s under investigation and we’re not stepping into that mess,” or “we’re investigating the situation,” which seem equally likely to me. So UNC is at least aware of his availability. Other than that, I don’t think UNC is making many moves in the transfer/grad transfer market at the moment.
UNC Football 2022 Commitments
Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach, VA
Life Christian Academy
Colonial Heights, VA
There’s nothing huge to report here, but here’s something: While most of UNC’s 2022 targets are probably a ways away from announcing anything close to a commitment, De’Ante Green might be an exception. In Eric Bossi’s mailbag from almost a month ago, he said that Green popping for UNC early in the cycle “wouldn’t be a surprise,” and all the buzz continues to be extremely positive for the athletic power forward coming to Chapel Hill.
Looking even further ahead, Robert Dillingham, who’s in the class of 2023 and plays for Jeff McInnis, has been nothing short of glowing when talking about his recent UNC offer and his history with the school. He’s called it his dream school, has mentioned how special it is to be recognized by Roy Williams as a sophomore, which rarely happens, saying he’s “one of the best college coaches ever” and that just getting that offer is a significant milestone for him. We wouldn’t see him in Chapel Hill for a while, but that all sounds pretty good.