At about 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, UNC Football’s 2022 class gained yet another member, and possibly its highest-profile member yet: 4-star linebacker Sebastian Cheeks, from Evanston, Illinois:
Committed!! Chap Way!! pic.twitter.com/CwyTjMcfUt— Sebastian Cheeks (@SebastianCheeks) July 28, 2021
More on him in a second, but that’s the big news for the week as far as UNC recruiting is concerned. Elsewhere, we’ve got a few more upcoming decision dates and radio silence on the basketball side of things. Let’s dive in:
- Let’s talk Cheeks. The 6’3, 210-pound linebacker is, I believe, the first non-quarterback that Mack Brown 2.0 has successfully recruited to Chapel Hill from out of UNC’s recruiting footprint (that is, from the DC area to Florida), and he’s a big get, rated right now as the 131st best player in his class. He’s a phenomenal athlete who’s shown comfort dropping into coverage, blitzing, and in run support, and even looks comfortable with the ball in his hands — a good indicator that a defensive player is on another level athletically from his peers on the field. UNC’s been stocking up on powerful and athletic linebackers the last two classes, like Power Echols and RaRa Dillworth from last year and Deuce Caldwell from this one. I don’t know what else to say about that except that it’s good. Winning Cheeks’ recruitment in Big Ten country, over powers like Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin, is also a subtle indicator of this regime’s growing recruiting prowess. Brown’s been starting to routinely win this caliber of battle with local and near-local prospects, but doing it on a national scale is a different story.
- On the same day, unfortunately, defensive back target Jaedyn Lukus committed to Clemson, joining Daylen Everette as DBs to choose Death Valley over Chapel Hill. Lukus is a five-star prospect from South Carolina, so that was always going to be tough, but it still stings to lose two highly-coveted players at the same position to the Tigers. That will be soothed greatly if Travis Shaw can just pull the trigger to UNC, though...
- Speaking of Shaw, nothing’s changed on that front — maybe Clemson’s sneaking back into the conversation, but it still looks like a UNC-Georgia race whose ending date we don’t really have a clue about.
UNC Football 2022 Commitments
|Malaki Hamrick||OLB/Edge||6'4||205||4-star||10||Shelby||Shelby, NC||Verbal|
|Omarion Hampton||RB||6'0||215||4-star||12||Cleveland||Clayton, NC||Verbal|
|Sebastian Cheeks||LB||6'3||210||4-star||15||Evanston Township||Evanston, IL||Verbal|
|Beau Atkinson||DE/Edge||6'6||240||4-star||19||Leesville Road||Raleigh, NC||Verbal|
|Tayon Holloway||CB||5'11||170||4-star||19||Green Run||Virginia Beach, VA||Verbal|
|Tychaun Chapman||WR||5'10||160||4-star||26||Princess Anne||Virginia Beach, VA||Verbal|
|Marcus Allen||DB||6'2||165||4-star||29||Walton||Marietta, GA||Verbal|
|Bryson Jennings||DE/Edge||6'6||235||3-star||22||Clover Hill||Midlothian, VA||Verbal|
|Connor Harrell||QB||6'1||189||3-star||43||Thompson||Alabaster, AL||Verbal|
|Trevyon Green||OT||6'7||338||3-star||58||Life Christian Academy||Colonial Heights, VA||Verbal|
|Deuce Caldwell||LB||6'1||210||3-star||91||Mauldin||Mauldin, SC||Verbal|
|Justin Kanyuk||OT||6'5||290||3-star||93||Bethlehem Catholic||Bethlehem, PA||Verbal|
- It’s almost literal crickets here; Hubert Davis hasn’t extended any offers or hosted any prospects with all the grassroots tournaments and camps going on right now. Keep an eye on GG Jackson, one of UNC’s few offered sophomores, who’s absolutely killing every event he goes to right now. I expect he’s going to be a huge priority for Hubert Davis and his staff in the coming months.
- I guess now’s as good a time as any to take a glance at UNC’s remaining 2022 offer board and roughly categorize everybody on it. First, in a category called “genuine priorities,” I’d put Cam Whitmore, Isaac Traudt, Tyler Nickel, and possibly Dereck Lively (that “possibly” is because he might not play in college; it’s clear Coach Davis would love him). In the next level, I’d say you have something like “looking, but not chasing,” a category that consists of Nick Smith and Jaden Bradley. After that, you have players who’ve been offered but not followed up on; players you expect to leave UNC off of Top 5’s if and when it gets there without something happening between now and then: Chris Livingston and Mark Mitchell. And at the lowest point, you have the two situations where it seems like Davis has genuinely moved on, namely DeAnte Green and Jarace Walker — UNC coaches have been at a lot of events where Walker has been recently, and there just hasn’t been any reported contact between the two. Finally, you have Zion Cruz and Kyle Flipowski, with whom it’s too early to make any judgements.
UNC Basketball 2022 Commitments
|Jalen Washington||PF||6'9||210||5-Star||21||West Side||Gary, IN||Verbal|
|Seth Trimble||PG||6'3||185||4-Star||48||Menemonee Falls||Menemonee Falls, WI||Verbal|
|Will Shaver||C||6'10||245||3-Star||135||Oak Mountain||Birmingham, AL||Verbal|
UNC Basketball 2022 Offers
|Chris Livingston||SF||6'6||200||5-Star||5||Buchtel||Akron, OH|
|Derek Lively II||C||7'1||220||5-Star||7||Westtown School||Norristown, PA|
|Jarace Walker||PF||6'8||220||5-Star||11||IMG Academy||Bradenton, FL|
|Mark Mitchell||SF||6'8||205||5-Star||12||Bishop Miege||Mission, KS|
|Jaden Bradley||PG||6'2||178||5-Star||17||IMG Academy||Bradenton, FL|
|Zion Cruz||SG||6'5||175||5-Star||20||The Patrick School||Hillside, NJ|
|Nick Smith||SG||6'4||185||4-Star||27||Sylvan Hills||Sherwood, AR|
|Kyle Flipowski||PF/C||6'11||230||4-Star||40||Wilbraham & Monson Academy||Wilbraham, MA|
|Cam Whitmore||SF||6'6||200||4-Star||55||Archbishop Spalding||Severn, MD|
|Isaac Traudt||PF||6'9||205||4-Star||60||Grand Island Senior School||Grand Island, NE|
|Tyler Nickel||SF||6'8||210||4-Star||79||East Rockingham||Elkton, VA|
|De'Ante Green||PF||6'9||215||4-Star||85||Asheville Christian Academy||Swannanoa, NC|