With the academic year of 2021-2022 officially over and all college sports finished until the fall, coaches across sports on campuses across the country are turning their attention almost completely towards recruiting. We’ll see spikes in activity from both schools and prospects wanting to get recruiting over with before school starts back up, and football’s 2023 class particularly should start to take real shape over the course of this summer after a fairly slow start — two commitments in the past week have already given it a boost. Let’s discuss the latest happenings:
- As mentioned, Mack Brown and staff have received two commitments in the past week and 3 total since the beginning of June, bringing the total for the class of 2023 up to six. This week’s names were defensive back Kaleb Cost out of the Atlanta metro area and tight end Julien Randolph from Northern Virginia. Cost is an intriguing athlete who’s also a standout baseball player and has indicated he’ll be joining the Diamond Heels as well; he might even get selected in the MLB Draft out of high school, though a repeat Jordyn Adams situation seems unlikely. Randolph is a big, rangy-looking tight end prospect whose high school highlights make him look like Calvin Johnson because he’s just so much bigger than his competition and athletic enough to make them look silly.
- Interestingly, out of 6 commitments, only one of them is from the state of North Carolina. It doesn’t seem like another down year for the state in terms of talent; there are 11 North Carolinians in 247’s top 300 prospects as opposed to 9 last year (and most of those were in the 200-300 range, as opposed to a more even distribution this year). Many of those top players will be at next weekend’s big official visit event, and the staff has to be hoping to get a few of those high-profile in-state commitments to really get the ball rolling on what’s been a slow start to this class.
UNC Football 2023 Commitments
|Tad Hudson||QB||6'3||220||4-Star||17||William Amos Hough||Cornelius, NC||Committed|
|Joel Starlings||DL||6'5||310||4-Star||43||Benedictine||Richmond, VA||Committed|
|Nolan McConnell||OT||6'6||280||3-Star||41||Colonial Forge||Stafford, VA||Committed|
|Julien Randolph||TE||6'5||210||3-Star||41||Independence||Ashburn, VA||Committed|
|Kaleb Cost||CB||5'11||180||3-Star||56||Sandy Creek||Tyrone, GA||Committed|
|Caleb LaVallee||LB||6'1||215||3-Star||68||Whitefield Academy||Mableton, GA||Committed|
- All eyes are on Pete Nance right now, especially after Armando Bacot’s latest cryptic tweet, and for good reason — he’s a really, really good player who’d fit pretty seamlessly into Hubert Davis’ way of doing things. You might need to figure out some creative solutions on defense in order to play him and Armando Bacot together, but his experience and shooting and passing acumen would undoubtedly boost this team. His official visit to UNC has been kept mostly under wraps, but buzz is mildly positive about his chance of being a Heel.
- Hubert Davis has one target left in the 2023 class, forward/unicorn Matas Buzelis. Buzelis was kind of in the background as Davis went after G.G. Jackson, but now that Jackson’s secured, there seems to be real interest here. Buzelis was thought to be a Duke lean for a while, but that was probably just because of Jon Scheyer’s insane recruiting inertia. Buzelis eliminated Duke by listing his Top 5 at the beginning of June: Florida State, Kentucky, UNC, Wake Forest, and the G-League. Of those, he’s officially visited everybody but UNC. He doesn’t seem to be on a timeline at the moment.
- From there, it’s on to the 2024 class, the start of which Brandon summed up pretty nicely here. A couple of 2024 guys already have UNC offers — that table will be below. For the first class Hubert will bring in that will come into a roster that’s mostly Hubert’s, he seems to be hitting wing talent heavy. It’ll be interesting to watch.
- And, not to be outdone, Courtney Banghart, after not doing much recruiting for 2022 because her roster wasn’t turning over that much, has secured two top-15 players in the 2023 class. Reniya Kelly (no relation to Deja, as far as I can tell) is a 5’5 point guard from Alabama with a wicked handle and great distribution skills, and Ciera Toomey is a 6’3 big from Pennsylvania who’s the program’s highest-rated recruit since Diamond DeShields and chose UNC over much-closer Connecticut.
UNC Basketball 2024 Offers
|Jarin Stevenson||PF||6'8||190||5-Star||16||Seaforth||Pittsboro, NC|
|Cam Scott||SG||6'5||165||5-Star||26||Lexington||Lexington, SC|