Hubert Davis is on a roll! After hosting official visits in back-to-back weeks, Davis came away with another commitment to his program, this one from Tyler Nickel, a big-time scoring big wing prospect from rural Virginia. That makes four prospects committed to Chapel Hill in the class of 2022 and probably marks the end of Davis’ serious recruiting efforts for next year’s freshmen, which is nice to have well ahead of the season starting. On the football side of things, one of Mack Brown’s targets just announced a commitment date, and another might have his decision made this week. Let’s get into it:
- Running back George Pettaway, after a fairly protracted recruitment, announced on Monday that he’d been announcing his commitment on September 22nd, or next Wednesday. Pettaway will be choosing between the Heels, Oregon, Penn State, and Florida. Between the facts that he hasn’t visited Oregon and that Penn State already has two four-star running backs committed, it looks like this will come down to a decision between UNC and Florida. He’s been to UNC a lot more often than to Gainesville, and proximity matters in most recruitments, so smart money is on UNC. All four of his Crystal Ball predictions are also in favor of the good guys, so I’m fairly optimistic about this one, and it’d be an excellent get for the Heels.
- According to InsideCarolina, five-star offensive tackle Zach Rice will be in Chapel Hill for the Heels’ game against Virginia on Saturday, which will feature the teams that can be presumed to be Rice’s finalists. I’m not sure how much head-to-head matchups usually actually matter to recruits so much as the sideline vibes and the coaches’ pitches, but Rice is familiar enough with both of those from both sides at this point that he might actually be swayed by a result here that shows him one program in better shape than the other. It’s no given, that this is the case, but previous press has implied that Rice is all but waiting for the Cavaliers to give him a reason to commit to the hometown team, making this game all the more important for Mack Brown and his squad.
UNC Football 2022 Commitments
|Travis Shaw||DL||6'5||310||5-star||2||Grimsley||Greensboro, NC||Verbal|
|George Pettaway||RB||5'11||190||4-star||7||Nansemond-Suffolk||Suffolk, VA||Verbal|
|Malaki Hamrick||OLB/Edge||6'4||205||4-star||10||Shelby||Shelby, NC||Verbal|
|Omarion Hampton||RB||6'0||215||4-star||13||Cleveland||Clayton, NC||Verbal|
|Sebastian Cheeks||LB||6'3||210||4-star||16||Evanston Township||Evanston, IL||Verbal|
|Beau Atkinson||DE/Edge||6'6||240||4-star||16||Leesville Road||Raleigh, NC||Verbal|
|Tayon Holloway||CB||5'11||170||4-star||25||Green Run||Virginia Beach, VA||Verbal|
|Tychaun Chapman||WR||5'10||160||4-star||25||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|
- The big news of the week is that Hubert Davis got his guy, 4-star wing/forward Tyler Nickel out of Elkton, Virginia. Nickel chose the Heels over hometown-ish Virginia Tech and Iowa, and also held offers from programs such as Creighton, Clemson, N.C. State, and Cincinnati. This is the second time Davis has seemingly created urgency by hosting two recruits at the same position back-to-back and gotten a commitment out of doing so — he first did it with Seth Trimble and Jaden Bradley, and now with Nickel and Cam Whitmore. The talent gap between the latter two players is probably bigger than between the point guards, but that’s more a statement about how good Whitmore is than anything else. Nickel is big, strong, and skilled both on the perimeter and in the post on offense, though he doesn’t have a lot of defensive highlights, and will be an immediate contributor in Chapel Hill as a versatile microwave scorer, and challenge to be a high-level starter maybe by his sophomore year.
- Later that day, Chris Livingston committed to Kentucky, taking another UNC target off the board and knocking UNC off of a short-lived stint atop the recruiting rankings for 2022. As I said at the jump, UNC is probably done for the class of 2022, as there hasn’t been much connecting them with any of their remaining uncommitted targeted players other than Whitmore, who’s probably out of the picture with Nickel committed and all signs pointing to him headed to Villanova. Message board chatter that’s made its way to social media says that Zion Cruz, who pushed back a second commitment last week, hasn’t been pursued by the UNC staff since he was offered, and he seemed like the most likely Heel out of their remaining offered prospects.
- If that’s the case, the class as ranked now would have come in around 8th in the country last year, which is pretty dang good for Hubert Davis’ first year as head man in Chapel Hill. It could get better, as well, because Seth Trimble has been shooting up the rankings and Jalen Washington was a five-star player before his injury and could easily reclaim that status if he regains pre-injury form during his senior year.
UNC Basketball 2022 Commitments
|Seth Trimble||PG||6'3||185||4-Star||34||Menemonee Falls||Menemonee Falls, WI||Verbal|
|Jalen Washington||PF||6'9||210||4-Star||41||West Side||Gary, IN||Verbal|
|Tyler Nickel||SF||6'8||210||4-Star||84||East Rockingham||Elkton, VA|
|Will Shaver||C||6'10||245||3-Star||145||Oak Mountain||Birmingham, AL||Verbal|