Updated: Jan 19, 2019
With the calendar turning to the month of January, college football has hit the home stretch for the 2019 recruiting cycle. With about 70% of the 2019 recruits having already signed their letters of intent early, that allows coaching staff to focus on a smaller group of prospects for the 27 day period. Let’s take a look at the names that the Heels will likely be focused on down from now until Signing Day.
5✮ OT. Darnell Wright- Huntington (Huntington, WV)
Wright announced during the Under Armour All-American media days that the Heels were one of the teams remaining in the race for him that they will in fact be receiving an official visit. Wright has met with Mack Brown and told Rivals.com’s Adam Friedman that he likes what he’s heard from Coach Brown. Wright will have to meet with new offensive line coach Stacy Searels, but he does have at least some sort of relationship with Searels from his time at Miami. Combine these factors with the fact that Wright and current offensive linemen Billy Ross, his former high school teammate, have a strong relationship and there is a reason that the Heels are solidly in this race that will come to a conclusion on February 6th.
3✮ CB Collin Duncan- St. James School (Montgomery, AL)
Duncan is one of the top names remaining uncommitted in the 2019 class and his recruitment will begin to pick up this weekend when he takes his official visit to Carolina. The Heels seem to be in good standing with Duncan and according to Chad Simmons of Rivals.com, it could very well be down to Mississippi State and Carolina. This weekend’s visit will be an important one for the Heels who are looking to add defensive backs as they close out this class.
3✮ OG Ty Murray- Carrollton (Carrollton, GA)
Murray was a late addition to the group of prospects that will visit Chapel Hill on Saturday. The No. 52 offensive guard in the 2019 class committed to Louisville back in October, but with the coaching change that took place, decided to hold off signing his letter of intent. As Inside Carolina reported on Thursday, Mack Brown is still in search of a center in this class and he believes that Murray can be that guy. This could be a nice addition if the Heels can complete the flip, considering the center position is currently not as deep as the rest of the positions along the offensive line.
3✮ S Don Chapman- Lincoln (San Diego, CA)
Chapman is yet another committed prospect that will be on campus this weekend. Similar to Murray, Chapman committed to Washington State prior to the early signing period deadline, but did not sign his letter of intent. Instead, he would decommit on the final day of the early period, creating a new race for him that will likely conclude on February 6th. The Heels will be the first to officially host the 2019 classes No. 91, but both Colorado and Oregon are expected to both get visits at some point. The Heels are in need of safety depth and landing Chapman would be a big help.
3✮ OLB Eugene Asante- Westfield (Chantilly, VA)
Asante will be a part of the group that will be on campus this weekend and the Heels will have their work cut out for them with this visit. Right now, the Heels are fighting to keep themselves in the race for his services, as school like Virginia Tech and TCU have separated themselves. The Heels are hoping to make some headway with the need at linebacker now that they are converting to a 3–4 base defensively.
3✮ SDE Raymond Vohasek- College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, IL)
Vohasek was determined to make his decision during the early signing period, but the Heels’ coaching change forced him to push his decision back to a late signing period one. However, Mack Brown and his staff has made a good impression on Vohasek and the belief is that the Heels are close to landing his commitment. If Saturday’s visits goes well, the Heels may land an experienced defensive end the staff is hoping can help ease the loss of experience along the defensive line.
3✮ SDE Michael Lockhart- Huffman (Birmingham, AL)
The athletic defensive end is part of the Heels late period focus in the state of Alabama. Lockhart has become one of the hotter names on the market following the early signing period, but the Heels seem to be one of the favorites for his services. The race right now seems to be headlined by the Heels and Mississippi State, so the Heels could grab a leg up if Lockhart enjoys his official visit.
3✮ ATH Syheam McQueen- Scotland County (Laurinburg, NC)
McQueen is the only prospect on this list that has yet to receive an offer, but reportedly Mack Brown and the staff have really taken a liking to McQueen late in the process. Although McQueen is listed as a running back through 247sports, the Heels are hoping to use him on the defensive side of the football as a linebacker. Saturday will give the staff a chance to become more familiar with him and don’t be shocked if the Heels make a late offer to someone who would bring some athleticism to the linebacker position.
3✮ OLB Octavius Brothers II- Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
Brothers Jr. has been one of the headliners for the Heels in the 2019 late signing period since the early signing period concluded. While other schools like Miami and Georgia Tech have jumped into the running later on, Heels linebacker coach Tommy Thigpen has an established relationship with him that has the Heels in his final four schools. Now the question is, can the Heels stave off a bevy of official visits throughout January and find a way to get him to Chapel Hill?