The Heels closed out the 2019 recruiting cycle on Wednesday, as they officially added their final five members to the class. Let’s take a look at what the official class looks like and what each player brings to the table.
247sports- Overall: No. 32 | ACC: No. 6
Rivals- Overall: No. 35 | ACC: No. 6
ESPN- Overall: No. 37 | ACC: No. 6
4✮ PRO-QB Sam Howell- Sun Valley (Indian Trail, NC)
247sports- No. 3 PRO
Rivals- No. 4 PRO
ESPN- No. 7 PP
One of the greatest high school quarterbacks in the history of the state of North Carolina, Howell’s gunslinger mentality reminds some of Baker Mayfield, something that will be a perfect fit for Longo’s air raid offense.
4✮ WR Khafre Brown- West Mecklenburg (Charlotte, NC)
247sports- No. 31 WR
Rivals- No. 34 WR
ESPN- No. 28 WR
Brown’s speed gives him a chance to have an impact as both a receiver and a returner because of his speed, but his ability to create separation with his route running and catch anything in his catch radius may allow him to play significant time early.
4✮ OLB Eugene Asante
247sports- No. 17 OLB
Rivals- No. 27 OLB
ESPN- No. 9 ILB
Asante will be the defensive headliner in this 2019 class. This athletic, sideline-to-sideline linebacker fits exactly what Jay Bateman loves in his defense. Add in the fact that he is a phenomenal tackler in open space, and you can see why he may have a shot to play early in a linebacking corps that lacks significant talent or depth.
4✮ OT Triston Miller- Charlotte Country Day (Charlotte, NC)
247sports- No. 30 OT
Rivals- No. 48 OL
ESPN- No. 74 OT
Miller’s stock differs heavily, based on which site you get your information from. Watching to tape, I would tend to lean towards a higher ranking considering his shear strength and good technique that may result in him seeing playing time early.
3✮ DT Wisdom Asaboro- Covenant Day (Matthews, NC)
247sports- No. 36 DT
Rivals- No. NA DT
ESPN- No. 26 DT
Asaboro will be a work in progress prospect, wherever he ends up along the defensive line. His massive size at 6’8, 280 lbs. makes him a bit of a confusing prospect to project. Working on fundamentals will be important for the reclassified junior, who was able to simply to overpower smaller offensive linemen. His athleticism could allow him to play defensive end, and there is a ton of upside to be built on here.
3✮ WR Emery Simmons- South View (Hope Mills, NC)
247sports- No. 64 WR
Rivals- No. 89 WR
ESPN- No. 66 WR
Simmons is not being talked about enough in this class for the Heels. He may have the best hands in the Heels wide receiving corps as of right now and his ability to make defenders miss in the open field will have Tar Heel fans excited to get this young man on the field.
3✮ RB Josh Henderson- Hun School (Princeton, NJ)
247sports- No. 39 RB
Rivals- No. 17 RB
ESPN- No. 45 RB
Henderson is an intriguing prospect because of his acceleration and shiftiness, but the concern will be where does he fit in the running back rotation. The new staff has, however, that he may have to play on the defensive side of the football as a linebacker.
3✮ S Giovanni Biggers- The Boy’s Latin School (Baltimore, MD)
247sports- No. 53 S
Rivals- No. 45 S
ESPN- No. 59 S
Biggers is that type of safety that Bateman loves to have on his defense. His closing speed allows him to make plays, both as an in-the-box run stopper and as a pass coverage safety. His ability may sneak up on people a bit and with the depth at safety being thin, he has a chance to make an early impact.
3✮ S Don Chapman- Lincoln (San Diego, CA)
247sports- No. 60 S
Rivals- No. NA S
ESPN- No. 69 S
Chapman can play all over the defensive backfield and that’s one of the reasons he became such a sought after prospect for this staff. His coverage ability is the reason that the staff has him slated to be a corner, despite the lack of depth at the safety, the position recruiting services list him at. His hard-hitting ability could allow him to be effective at safety if needed.
3✮ OG Ty Murray- Carrollton (Carrollton, GA)
247sports- No. 46 OG
Rivals- No. NA OG
ESPN- No. 59 OG
Mack Brown was hoping to bring in a Jeff Saturday-like center, and this might be that guy right here. Murray has the size to play immediately and had plenty of success at center in his senior season. His size and physical hands allow him to get push in the run game, something the Heels love to see. The question will be, can he prove himself as a pass protector.
3✮ S Khadry Jackson- Windermere Prep (Windermere, FL)
247sports- No. 68 S
Rivals- No. 46 S
ESPN- No. 75 S
One of the more flexible players in the 2019 class, Jackson can play either strong safety or outside linebacker. He flies around the field on tape and his athletic ability makes him an asset in pass coverage from a linebacker perspective. Keep an eye on Jackson to have immediate special teams impact at the least.
3✮ WR Welton Spottsville- Havelock (Havelock, NC)
247sports- No. 106 WR
Rivals- No. 73 ATH
ESPN- No. 136 WR
With the recent commitments at the wide receiver position for the Heels, Spottsville’s name hasn’t been talked about as much, but there’s a reason he is part of this class. Spottsville’s game-breaking speed and open field ability make him an interesting fit in this offense. While it may end up taking some time to work his way up the depth chart, his dynamic skill set will get him on the field at some point.
3✮ OT Asim Richards- Haverford School (Haverford, PA)
247sports- No. 75 OT
Rivals- No. NA OT
ESPN- No. 138 DE
Richards is another player that possesses a ton of upside, mainly based on size. While he will definitely have some work to do footwork-wise, Richards possesses the size to be effective at the college level. He is definitely a project for new offensive line coach Stacey Searls.
3✮ SDE Tomari Fox- Collins Hill (Suwanee, GA)
247sports- No. 66 SDE
Rivals- No. NA DE
ESPN- No. 129 DE
Fox reminds me of his brother when you throw on the film, but doesn’t seem quite as polished as Tomon did when he arrived on campus. Tomari will probably focus on adding weight this offseason, but don’t be shocked if he does see some early action due to limited depth along the defensive line.
3✮ TE Kamari Morales- Lincoln (Tallahassee, FL)
247sports- No. 46 TE
Rivals- No. 35 TE
ESPN- No. 19 TE-H
Morales will be questioned by some recruiting sites because of his size, but he has the ability to be a good all-around tight end and possibly make that impact felt early in his career. With the tight end position being thin on experienced depth, keep an eye out for Morales come fall camp.
3✮ SDE Kevin Hester- North Cobb (Kennesaw, GA)
247sports- No. 78 SDE
Rivals- No. NA TE
ESPN- No. 169 DE
Hester is an extremely raw talent that most of the recruiting sites barely knew about before his commitment. Hester is a bit of a project, but with his size, he’s definitely worth the risk, especially if he shows that he can move inside, as well.
3✮ CB Storm Duck- Boiling Springs (Boiling Springs, SC)
247sports- No. 116 CB
Rivals- No. NA CB
ESPN- No. 82 CB
One of the under the radar signings in this class, Duck is more than just a name. His great ability as a man coverage corner will give him a chance to play early, despite Bateman’s defense expecting to be more zone-heavy than John Papuchis’ was. Still, his 4.41 speed will be hard to keep off the field, whether that defensive or special teams snaps.
3✮ OT Wyatt Tunall- Chester (Chester, SC)
247sports- No. 99 OT
Rivals- No. NA OT
ESPN- No. 113 OT
Tunall is another work in progress along the offensive line, but when he does step on the field, his athleticism will allow him to get to the second level in run blocking and help in space on screen plays, something that we could see a lot of in this Phil Longo offense. He will be making the conversion over from a run-heavy offense to a pass-heavy offense so there will be a learning curve.
3✮ SDE Raymond Vohasek- College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, IL)
247sports- No. 10 SDE (JUCO)
Rivals- No. NA DE
ESPN- No. 16 DE (JUCO)
Vohasek brings the junior college experience with him, but his speed and quickness off of the line are what makes people most excited about his commitment. He has the size and pass rushing ability that the Heels will be looking for in their 3-4 defensive ends. Entering in the fall will make it a bit more difficult for him to have a immediate impact, though.
3✮ SDE Kristian Varner- Hiram (Hiram, GA)
247sports- No. 89 SDE
Rivals- No. 65 SDE
ESPN- No. 195 DE
Varner is one of the few that won’t be able to early enroll and the rumors say that Tim Cross wants Varner to add weight in his first year on campus. While it may take some time for him to get on the field, his technique and quickness off the ball headline the attributes that make him an intriguing prospect.
3✮ WR Justin Olson- North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, NC)
247sports- No. 183 WR
Rivals- No. NA WR
ESPN- No. 126 WR
Olson will have his work cut out for him with a loaded group of receivers in front of him at Carolina, but he does the one thing that will get you on the field as a receiver: he catches almost everything. Add in the fact that he has so return ability and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him used in some capacity early in his career, especially with the upside he presents.
3✮ CB Obi Egbuna- Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, NC)
247sports- No. 183 CB
Rivals- No. NA CB
ESPN- No. 116 CB
Egbuna is an unknown to most recruiting websites and while it may take him some time to work himself into the rotation at cornerback, it is sure possible because of his ability to take the football away. More than likely, though, he will see most of his time as a freshman on special teams.
2✮ P Ben Kiernan- Wakefield (Raleigh, NC)
247sports- No. 14 P
Rivals- No. NA K
ESPN- No. 36 K
While both Rivals and ESPN list him as a kicker, Kiernan will likely be the Heels starting punter this upcoming season barring something unforeseen. His strong leg will be a nice addition, especially if he can show some consistency, something the position lacked this season.
2✮ LS Drew Little- North Stanly (New London, NC)
247sports- No. 9 LS
Rivals- No. NA LS
ESPN- No. 12 LS
With both the punting long snapper and kicking long snapper gone, Little has only one player standing in front of him at this point. Considering that he is on scholarship and was named one of the top three long snappers in the country by Rubio Long Snapping, I would be shocked if he isn’t handling at least one of those duties this season.
UR ATH Donovan Brewington- South View (Hope Mills, NC)
UR ILB Parks Cochrane- IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
UR WR Jeffrey Saturday- Hebron Christian (Dacula, GA)
Signing Day Notes:
- At one time, this class was ranked 91st overall and last in the ACC. This staff made quick work and scrambled to put together a very strong class for a new staff in the early signing period era.
- Ten of the Heels 24 commitments come from the state of North Carolina, the largest number of in-state commitments for the Heels since they signed thirteen in-state prospects back in 2011.
- Defensive end was the biggest position of focus in this class, as the Heels signed four defensive ends, all of which are listed as strongside ends.
- Howell was signed early, but it is worth mentioning once again that he is the highest rated quarterback the Heels have signed since Bryn Renner back in 2009.