This weekend is the start of a huge final weekend in Chapel Hill. Mack Brown said that he expects this to be a big weekend for the Tar Heels as they look to add some headliners to their deep 2024 class. Here is a breakdown of the players who arrived to campus today.
3✮ LB Evan Bennett- Gatewood School (Eatonton, GA) [COMMITTED]
Bennett will be of a host of committed prospects that will be on campus for this crucial weekend. He hasn't been one of the more vocal commits, but he is definitely secure in his decision and will be an asset to have on campus for this staff.
3✮ ATH Khalil Conley- Christ School (Arden, NC) [COMMITTED]
This will be Conley’s first trip back to Chapel Hill since his commitment back in early March. He will be a part of the foursome of committed players that will be hoping to convince some of these other big targets to join the class in what will be the most loaded weekend of the month.
4✮ CB Jalyn Crawford- Parkview (Lilburn, GA)
Crawford scheduling an official visit to Chapel Hill, especially for this weekend, probably came as a shock to many. His other three visits will determine where he ultimately ends up, but just getting a visit shows the effect that the team is having in the state of Georgia right now.
4✮ CB Zion Ferguson- Gainesville (Gainesville, GA) [COMMITTED TO LSU]
Ferguson’s recruitment might be the most intriguing one right now of the team’s remaining targets in this cycle. He is currently committed to LSU and an article written late last month on On3 Sports suggested he is “locked in” with the Tigers. The Tar Heels hosted him during the spring, though, and seemed to make a significant impact on him, leading him to set an official visit to Chapel Hill. This feels like more of a battle than the recruiting analysts would have you believe and a strong showing on this visit could have him flipping to the Tar Heels.
3✮ WR Javarius Green- Crest (Shelby, NC)
The Tar Heels have a bevy of wide receiver targets in the class and Green might be the one the team had the biggest lead with heading into June. Michigan State is the only other school that he visited and they seem to be a distant second at this point. The new element in this recruitment, the Alabama Crimson Tide, offered him in late May, but it doesn't seem like that has really materialized to much. If the Tar Heels can close this out strong, though, they could leave this weekend with his commitment.
3✮ WR Keenan Jackson- Weddington (Matthews, NC)
Jackson was the wide receiver that the Tar Heels appeared to have the best ties with for the majority of this cycle. Chapel Hill is easily the place that he has frequented the most in his recruitment, so it's hard to feel like the Tar Heels aren't in a great spot. NC State looks to be the biggest threat here, but both Virginia Tech and Duke hosted him earlier this month and are around in this battle. The Tar Heels will get the final word here and the hope is that it will close the deal in a recruitment that has been theres the whole way.
3✮ QB Michael Merdinger- Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, FL) [COMMITTED]
This might be the biggest asset that the team will have on campus this weekend. Since his commitment back on May 7th, he has been very aggressive in his pursuit of recruiting others in this class. Having that around with the big targets that will be on campus will be a big help for the Tar Heels.
3✮ IOL Jani Norwood- Eastern Randolph (Ramseur, NC) [COMMITTED]
Norwood will make his first trip back to Chapel Hill since his commitment to aid in the efforts to add more people to the class. He committed back on April 5th and has since done multiple interviews to rave about the program. He’ll be a nice asset to the staff throughout the weekend.
3✮ S Christian Peterson- Westlake (Atlanta, GA)
Peterson was another player that the Tar Heels were closely tied to early in his recruitment, but it feels like he will be heading elsewhere. Auburn is the team best positioned heading into the month after taking the lead in the race back in March and Mississippi State is also hanging around. Unless something drastically changes, the Tar Heels will likely be more focused on the other big safety target they will have on campus.
4✮ WR Jordan Shipp- Providence Day (Charlotte, NC)
Shipp just set his top three schools earlier today before heading to campus for what will be his final official visit. Michigan seems to be the team with a pretty significant lead right now. The Tar Heels would seem to be the biggest threat of his other two schools, but it will taking an amazing showing for them to make this a legitimate conversation.
4✮ WR Braylon Staley- Aiken (Aiken, SC)
Staley is another receiver target that the Tar Heels will enter the month trailing with in the race for his services. Clemson was the favorite in this race, as well, but with all the other targets that have committed to the Tigers, there an opportunity here. Tennessee made a strong case for themselves this past weekend, but the Tar Heels getting the final shot here feels big. If the Tar Heels can impress, they may have a legitimate shot here.
4✮ WR Alex Taylor- Grimsley (Greensboro, NC)
Taylor is one of two in-state 4✮ prospects who will be on campus in this final weekend and the Tar Heels have a lot of work to do here. Clemson has been the heavy favorite here for a while now with the Tar Heels and NC State as the biggest challenger with everyone else off the pace. That remained the case heading into the month, but with the reports that the Tigers have filled up at receiver has opened the door for the Tar Heels and Wolfpack. Dave Doeren and company have already had their shot and many believe that the Tar Heels are positioned well heading into this weekend.
3✮ TE Ryan Ward- Rutherford (Rutherford, NJ) [COMMITTED]
Ward is right up there with Merdinger in terms of guys that have been aggressively recruiting others to join him in Chapel Hill since his commitment. This will be his first time he will visit campus since his decision back in mid-April and he will be an outstanding asset for the staff as one of the more locked in commits to the class.
4✮ S Malcolm Ziglar- Fuquay-Varina (Fuquay Varina, NC)
Ziglar might very well be the most important target that has rolled through Chapel Hill. This is the lone 4✮ in-state prospect that the Tar Heels seemed to be in the lead for coming into the month, but this seems to be a fierce battle heading into this weekend. Both South Carolina and Notre Dame have hosted him already this month and both seem to have made a good impression. Even with that, the Tar Heels will get the final say here and they need to seal this recruitment with a commitment.