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UNC Football: Reviewing the Tar Heels’ Early Signing Period

There was a lot of ink touching paper on Wednesday, but the results pale in comparison to the beginning of Mack Brown 2.0.

NCAA Football: Virginia at North Carolina Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Early Signing Period was Wednesday in college football, and the result for the Tar Heels is in. Mack Brown managed to sign the biggest recruiting class that the program has seen in 15 years — 27 commits signed their National Letter of Intent, with just about every position on the field accounted for. The Heels found themselves in another situation where they needed to reload and reload quickly to get ready for the 2024 class, and it seems like they did just that.

The 2024 freshmen class is highlighted by four-stars Jaiden Patterson, Tyshun White, Alex Taylor, Zion Ferguson, Malcolm Ziglar, Andrew Rosinski, and Jordan Shipp. Six of the seven players listed are top-50 players in their respective positions, and all of them reside in either North Carolina or Georgia. Mack Brown is still having some success recruiting in-state, though one could argue that his ability to land big names has not been as good as it was when he first returned to campus.

The 2024 class is the 30th-best recruiting class in the country according to 247Sports, and when adding in the 44th-ranked transfer class, Mack Brown’s over all body of work is good enough to be ranked 26th. It is worth noting that the transfer portal situation is far from over, and there are bound to be more names that enter the process following the bowl games. However, if things were to stay like they are right now, it would be Brown’s second-worst composite ranked class that he’s had during the Mack 2.0 era. It’s also eerily similar to what recruiting classes looked like near the end of the Larry Fedora era as well, but perhaps that’s too big of a can of worms to get into right now.

Instead, let’s talk about the star of Signing Day, Malcolm Ziglar. He is a 6’2, 198-lb safety that currently plays for Fuquay-Varina High School in Fuquay-Varina, NC. Ranked the 14th-best safety in the country, Ziglar has some impressive NFL-quality attributes that will likely help him see a lot of time on the field once he arrives on campus. The Heels will likely be looking to see who is going to be the next big playmaker on what has been a pretty lackluster defensive unit, and there’s a very real chance that Ziglar could step in and make a big impact. That is of course assuming that the staff gives him playing time instead of putting him in freshmen purgatory.

Overall, this is a solid recruiting class from Mack Brown and his staff. Obviously the debate here is whether or not the previous 2-3 seasons have tanked his ability to recruit, and there’s a decent argument that can be made that it has. Thankfully he still landed some quality players, and of course the transfers that have committed are a welcome addition as well. What do you think of the 2024 recruiting class? Let us know in the comments below.

See ya later, Big Grits