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UNC Recruiting: GG Jackson has risen to the top of the 2023 class

Hubert Davis is smiling ear to ear, and we should be too.

North Carolina v Duke Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Five-star 2023 UNC commit GG Jackson has been trending up in the class rankings for quite a while now, and now a few outlets have him as the best player in the country. 247Sports, On3, and Rivals now list the South Carolina product as the #1 player in the 2023 class, with ESPN being the lone holdout.

When it comes to 247Sports, they previously had Jackson ranked at #8 before moving him all the way to the top. 247Sports National Director of Recruiting Eric Bossi spoke with Inside Carolina and told them why Jackson has risen to the top of the class:

“In the class of 2023, there hasn’t been anybody who has really laid claim to the No. 1 spot and made it their own, but for now we feel like GG had the best overall case,” 247Sports National Director of Recruiting Eric Bossi told Inside Carolina. “He still has things to work on, but his mix of athleticism, positional size, ability to play inside-out, and long-term upside earned him the nod at this juncture.”

On3 writer Jamie Shaw also shared why his outlet has moved Jackson to the top of the class:

The class as a whole had a lot of conversation and tweaking over the last three or so weeks. However, the top spot was a quick discussion and never wavered upon. Jackson’s blend of size, skill and athleticism put him in the conversation. However, it was Jackson’s consistent production and continued development throughout this season that made him the obvious choice.

Hubert Davis landing such an elite player after his first season as the head coach of the Tar Heels is still something that I am trying to wrap my head around. Granted, the Heels aren’t that far removed from doing so — Cole Anthony was the fourth-best player in the 2019 recruiting class, and in 2018 Roy Williams landed Nassir Little, who was the third-best high school player that year. However, GG Jackson is on pace to be the highest-ranked commitment since Harrison Barnes committed back in 2010. No disrespect to Anthony or Little — both of whom I loved watching and am still huge fans of to this day — but Davis landing Jackson is a really, really big deal.

What landing Jackson did for the program is it proved to current and future high school prospects that Carolina is still a desirable place to play despite NIL entering the frame. There has been a lot of conversation surrounding Nick Saban’s recent comments about NIL, and his belief that some schools are “paying their players” to play for them instead of Alabama. I’m not going to go into my thoughts about that here (you can follow me on Twitter if you really want to welcome that kind of chaos into your life @thbbrandon), but the point is that schools like Carolina, Duke, and Kentucky have not been phased by the introduction of NIL, and really have been thriving since its introduction. While the Wildcats don’t have much to show in 2023 just yet, both Duke and Carolina have the #1 and #3 recruiting classes, respectively. As far as UNC goes, Armando Bacot has also been doing an incredible job of taking advantage of NIL, and I’m sure he has been more than willing to share his success stories with recruits. Heck, he just signed a deal with Bad Boy Mowers that he announced this morning.

If Hubert Davis can keep landing players like Jackson while also landing really good 3-4 year talent, Carolina is going to remain near the top of the college basketball universe for a very, very long time. I can’t wait to see what Jackson is able to do when he arrives on campus, and also what he is able to do once he almost certainly gets drafted in the NBA.