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UNC football recruiting: DE Rick Sandidge names North Carolina in his top 7

Can the North beat out the South?

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North Carolina continues to remain involved in the recruiting process for the class of 2018. Four-star defensive end Rick Sandidge included UNC in his top 7 earlier this week. He also had Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech in his list of finalists.

Sandidge is considered to be the 134th-best player in the class of 2018. He is ranked as the no. 11 defensive tackle and the sixth-best talent from his home state of North Carolina. The Concord native is considered to be a defensive force at his position. At six-foot-five and 288 pounds, he brings a combination of size and athleticism that is hard to find on the gridiron.

UNC has been courting him for awhile, ever since they first offered him back in October 2015. He visited Chapel Hill in November 2016 and returned to campus in March of this year. All that hard work paid off when the Tar Heels survived Sandidge’s culling through the 20 schools that had already offered him a scholarship.

In the meantime, the Gamecocks have been all over him in the last year and a half. Sandidge has been on South Carolina’s campus six separate times at this point. While quantity doesn’t always matter, it’s safe to say that the Gamecocks are the favorite to land him. Given his status as a North Carolina resident, it would be tough to see the Tar Heels lose him to a neighboring state.

The Heels may have lost Mikey Bart to graduation, but the current roster is still loaded with defensive talent for the 2017 season. Guys like Dajaun Drennon, Malik Carney, Aaron Crawford, Jeremiah Clarke, Tomon Fox, Jalen Dalton, and Jake Lawler are expected to play big roles this year. However, Drennon will be a senior and several juniors could always leave for the draft, so there should be room for Sandidge.