The Tar Heels' momentum on the 2023 recruiting trail just continued to roll along on Monday, when they landed another major in-state target, the team’s eighth commitment in the last eight days.
Earlier this evening, 2023 4✮ WR Chris Culliver announced his commitment to the Tar Heels over Virginia Tech, Florida State, Appalachian State and others via social media. This was a battle that came down to the end for his services between the Tar Heels and the Hokies, the only two schools that received official visits from him during his recruitment. The Hokies may have gotten the final visit of the two last weekend, but it still wasn’t enough to top the work that the Tar Heel staff had done the week prior to that or throughout the length of his recruitment.
Culliver, the No. 42 wide receiver in the 2023 class according to 247Sports Composite player rankings, is heading into his senior season at Maiden High School in Maiden, NC. In 2021, Culliver was one of the top receivers in the state of North Carolina this past season, catching 60 passes for 1,215 yards and 23 touchdowns while helping lead Maiden to one of its most successful seasons in school history. He was named first team all-state by HighSchoolOT.com, took home all-conference player of the year and was named the conference’s special team’s player of the year. As a sophomore in the spring of 2021, he had 33 catches for 593 yards and three touchdowns in a shortened season where he played in just six games.
Culliver fits exactly what the Tar Heels need in this class at wide receiver. First of all, he has the size and frame to play on the outside at 6’3, 175 lbs., something that the team is simply lacking right now in the wide receiver room. In terms of his actual play, he is a speedster that can definitely fill the role of that deep threat that this offense relies on to succeed, as the majority of his touchdowns as a junior came via deep routes down the field. That speed also makes him dangerous with the football in his hands after the catch and is also a big part of why he was able to succeed at such a high level on special teams. Like with Christian Hamilton who committed the other day, Culliver does a good job of finding the holes in the defense, something that is preached by Phil Longo and his staff. He has no problem going up and coming down with the contested catches and does so multiple times on film. He will have to expand his route tree a bit when he gets to campus, but he is exactly what the Tar Heels need and has the skillset to make an impact early on in his career.
With this commitment, the Tar Heels now have fourteen players committed to their 2023 class, one that is continuing to climb the class rankings on 247Sports. The class is now inside of the top 20 for the first time in this cycle, vaulting up to 18th overall, and continues to close in on the top three classes in the ACC as they are now neck-and-neck with Louisville. For the moment, the next decision on deck is that of 3✮ OT Koby Keenum, who will announce his decision this coming Saturday.