Sunday concluded the first of what will be four consecutive crucial weekends of official visits for the 2022 class. Among those that were on campus in the past week were three major targets for official visitors and arguably the team most important overall target in the class for an unofficial visit. As we exit the first big weekend of the month of June, here is a look at who the Tar Heels appear to be trending up and down with after this weekend.
This is the guy that the weekend appears to have had the biggest impact on from the reactions of the heavy hitters in the recruiting industry. Inside Carolina’s headline on the article of the visit was headlined with the statement that the visit would be “tough to top” and that was reflected by 247Sports director of football recruiting Steve Wiltfong. Wiltfong, one of the most accurate crystal ball predictors when it comes to football recruiting, cast a crystal ball in favor of Carolina with a confidence level of six. There are still three more visits on the docket this month for Pope, but all indicators seem to show that the Tar Heels nailed this visit about as well as they could.
It’s no secret that Lukus is closely tied to Clemson Tigers and it shouldn’t come as much of a shock either with him being right in their backyard. Dré Bly and the Tar Heels have been fighting an uphill battle since they began making a major push for him a few months ago and as of right now, it appears they may be as close to the Tigers in this race as they have been so far. All indications seem to point to the fact that Lukus thoroughly enjoyed his official visit to Chapel Hill over the weekend and this is another prospect where Wiltfong’s reaction tells you a lot. Wiltfong dropped his confidence level on his pick of Clemson all the way down to a 1 following the visit, seeming to indicate that the Tar Heels gave him something to think following the visit. Clemson still probably remains the favorite right now, but the Tar Heels hard charge continues.
Enough can not be said about the impact that Bly has had for the Tar Heels on the recruiting trail and that continues to be punctuated in this class. Not only has he continued to help the Tar Heels pull big names from Virginia’s talent-rich Tidewater area, he has also continued to tackle the challenge of recruiting against the nation’s top teams in his search for corners. Lukus is just another example, as he has somehow positioned the Tar Heels to have the opportunity to go in and steal one of the nations top players at the position from Clemson’s backyard. He will have another opportunity at the position later in the month when another elite corner, Daylen Everette, another guy who he has battled his way into great standing with, takes his official visit to Chapel Hill.
Hampton is an in-state guy who has frequented campus on his own over the last year plus, but with things opening back up, some were probably wondering if he would visit Chapel Hill this summer with the opportunity to get on the road. Well, he has made a stop in Chapel Hill. Actually, make that two. Hampton made his second visit in a week to Chapel Hill on Monday, meaning confidence can’t help but continue to grow around him. This week was another indication that Hampton clearly holds the Tar Heels in high regard and that right now they seem to be firmly planted in the driver’s seat right now.
Cheeks was the other target who was on campus this weekend and is another player that the indications seem to say the Tar Heels did well with this weekend. Ultimately, the race seems like it may be down to Carolina, Texas and if they have room, Notre Dame. While the Irish had the early advantage, some think they may be looking elsewhere at the position and the Tar Heels and Longhorns are the two teams that took advantage. He will visit Austin this weekend and will then head to South Bend the following weekend. The Tar Heels appear to have a solid shot here, especially if he holds odd on schedule any other officials, but this appears to be a wait and see situation.
The Tar Heels kicked off the opening of in person recruiting by hosting Rice for an unofficial visit on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. While the visit appeared to go pretty well, it didn’t look to have made the impact that the Ohio State official visit, which he took over the weekend, seemed to have. The Tar Heels still look as if they will be a factor in this recruitment, but the Buckeyes look as if they are making a strong push and Alabama and Virginia, who will receive official visits later this month, are both setting themselves up to be factors, as well.