Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Wednesday is the opening of the early signing period, a day that has basically become National Signing Day since the early signing period was put in place during the 2018 recruiting cycle. According to Mack Brown, the staff is expecting 25 of the 26 committed prospects to sign their letter of intent on Wednesday. Let’s get you prepared for the biggest day of the 2020 recruiting cycle with a look at the biggest headlines heading into the day for this Tar Heels 2020 class.
What Will Pinder Do?
With both Trenton Simpson and Jacolby Criswell shutting down their commitments over the weekend, this is without a doubt the biggest focus of everyone around this Tar Heel football program as we head into signing day. Pinder, the No. 41 defensive tackle according to 247Sports' Composite Rankings, is one of, if not the most, important piece in this class, especially after Brant Lawless-Sherrill entered the transfer portal last month. The Tar Heels have made it clear to him that he is an important part of this class and will have a chance to make an early impact, but his official visit to Florida, a team who entered the race him back on November 21st, makes his commitment as uncertain as any on this team. The good news is Pinder is scheduled to sign his letter of intent to one of the two schools early in the morning, something that had been the plan for most of the way since he committed to Carolina back in late June. The bad news is that the Gators, not the Tar Heels, got the chance to leave the final impression and reportedly gave him something to think about prior to his decision according to GatorCountry.com. The decision will be made early in the morning, so at least you won’t have to wait all day to find out if the Tar Heels will have to scramble and find another option at defensive tackle ahead of February’s signing period.
One Player is Not Expected to Sign in the Early Period
As we mentioned above, Mack Brown said in his Monday press conference that 25 players are expected to sign on Wednesday. The common consensus was that Pinder had yet to make his decision to sign in the early period, but as we learned on Monday night, that doesn’t seem to be the case. There was a rumor that Jefferson Boaz wasn’t going to sign early because he was not listed as part of his school’s ceremony on Wednesday, but that rumor was quickly rescinded when it was determined that all of the guys at the Shrine Bowl will be submitting their paperwork while in Spartanburg. As of right now, there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer, but the hope is that the staff just hadn’t received confirmation from Pinder that he was signing early before that press conference. That seems like the most logical explanation, but this is something that is worth keeping an eye on throughout the day on Wednesday.
Twelve of the Early Signees Will Early Enroll
With twelve scholarship seniors graduating this season, the Tar Heels will have twelve early enrollee spots for the spring and the expectation is that we will find out the names of those early enrollees tomorrow during Mack Brown’s press conference. As of right now, three players have been publicly confirmed as players that will enroll in January. Wide receiver Josh Downs posted on social media a few weeks back that he will early enroll and quarterback Jacolby Criswell did the same on Monday when he announced his signing day ceremony details. The other one that has been confirmed by the Heel Tough Blog is not quite as public, but a couple of weeks ago safety Cameron Roseman-Sinclair did confirm to us that he will be enrolling with the team in January. Right now there is a rough list in place of names who are expected to enroll early, but there should be confirmation of that list at some point tomorrow.