With the early signing period having closed on December 21st, the focus for the 2019 recruiting class now turns to the late signing period that will begin on January 10th. The goal of this staff is to close the class out with 25 commits and address some positions of need that still remain. Let’s take a look at the positions of need this staff still has to address between now and February.
The linebacker position in general is an area that the Heels are in need of depth at. Outside linebacker will be the main position of focus, though, as the Heels will enter spring camp with just four scholarship players from a year ago. Khadry Jackson, a hybrid player that can play either linebacker or safety, fits the mold that Jay Bateman looks for in his linebackers. However, that still leaves the Heels with only five scholarship outside linebackers, meaning it is crucial for them to add to this unit in the late signing period.
Similar to outside linebacker , the defensive tackle position is another where the Heels are extremely scarce depth wise. The Heels will return just six scholarship players, including Nolan DeFranco who converted over to defensive tackle before last season. With the Heels missing on Jaden McKenzie in the early signing period, they seemingly have to land at least one or two defensive tackles in the late period.
As of right now, based on the position they played a year ago, the Heels will return just four scholarship safeties from a year ago. Of those four (Myles Dorn, Myles Wolfolk, D.J. Ford and Caleb Rozar), only two have seen a significant amount of snaps in their careers and one hasn’t even played a single defensive snap in his career. Javon Terry, who was listed as a cornerback this past season, could be converted to safety, a position that he saw some time at in high school. The Heels had two players who can play the safety position sign in the early class, but with the need at linebacker position, it is unclear where S/LB Khadry Jackson will play next season. One would expect to see the Heels add another safety in the late signing period.
As mentioned above, the dead period following the early signing period will continue through January 10th. At that point, Mack Brown and his staff will have 27 days to close out this class. With the work that the staff did to close out the early signing period, there is no doubt that this staff can get it done.