Tuesday afternoon was the really the first setback for Mack Brown and his staff on the 2020 recruiting trail, which is an impressive feat. However, the loss of 4✮ DUAL Malik Hornsby does hurt and has an impact on the 2020 class.
The Missouri City, TX native decommitted around noontime on Tuesday, distributing a big blow to the Tar Heels 247Sports Composite rankings. The Heels dropped from 11th to 17th in the 2020 rankings and the class also fell from 3rd to 4th in the ACC following Hornsby’s decommitment.
The bigger story here might be the fact that the Heels 2020 class now lacks a top 200 prospect according to the 247Sports player rankings. The good news is that the Heels are currently in good shape with some major top 200 prospects. 5✮ WDE Desmond Evans continues to be the top target and everything points to the Heels being the favorite with his frequent visits to campus. If not Evans, both 4✮ SDE Myles Murphy and 4✮ DT Kedrick Bingley-Jones would be a nice name to headline a class and both currently hold the Heels in high standing.
So what about at quarterback? Even with Hornsby’s decommitment, the Tar Heels 2020 quarterback depth chart still stacks up as one of the best in ACC for 2020. 3✮ DUAL Jacolby Criswell is still solidly committed to the 2020 class and brings a more polished arm than Hornsby would have brought. The three quarterbacks who are battling for the starting quarterback job for the 2019 season, Cade Fortin, Sam Howell and Jace Ruder, are all scheduled to return next season, although it’s still likely one of those three will transfer.
Hornsby’s decommitment definitely stung, but landing in-state 3✮ RB D.J. Jones shows this staff did not let it affect them. While the Heels are likely done at quarterback, the Heels will continue to battle for those top 200 headliners.