Friday was a massive day for the Tar Heels on the recruiting trail, with three major targets in the 2023 class revealing their decisions. There has been some nice success in the realm of recruiting lately for Carolina, but Friday packs a punch in the terms of the number of guys announcing as well as the caliber.
The day wrapped up shortly after 6:30 PM tonight when 2023 4✮ in-state WR Christian Hamilton committed to the Tar Heels. His commitment follows a month where he only visited Chapel Hill officially, in essence turning last weekend’s visit into a virtual victory lap for the team who had been recruiting him since his freshman season.
Hamilton, the No. 30 wide receiver in the 2023 class according to 247Sports Composite player rankings, is heading into his senior season at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, NC under the direction of former Tar Heel offensive lineman Jupiter Wilson. In 2021, he caught 49 passes for 916 yards and 12 touchdowns for a Hickory Ridge team that won just their second conference title this past season. He earned all-conference and all-area honors after what was a career year for him. As a sophomore in the spring of 2021, Hamilton finished with 22 receptions for 379 yards and three touchdowns while playing in six of the team’s eight games. His breakout, though, began as a freshman when he made 30 catches for 638 yards and six touchdowns.
Hamilton is the type of receiver that fits exactly what Phil Longo wants in a receiver. He has the versatility to play in the slot or on the outside and he is a guy who seems to play with the mentality that Longo's offense is built on by just finding grass. He is a strong route runner that gets in and out of cuts well and that allows him to create separation from the defensive backs, which he has to do with his 6’0, 175 lbs. frame. He has really good straight-line speed and short-area quickness that allows him to create space and do damage with the football in his hands. He fits the mold of the modern-day outside receiver that thrives out there despite a smaller frame and could fall in line to have a shot at replacing Josh Downs if he heads to the NFL after the 2022 season.
With the commitment, the Tar Heels 2023 class now has twelve commitments, six of which have come in the last five days. Today alone, the Tar Heels recruiting class has jumped from 41st to 23rd in the 247Sports Composite team rankings and jumped from 9th to 4th in the ACC class rankings. In the process, the team added two of the top eight prospects in the state and an extremely versatile offensive lineman that helped to continue to strengthen the pipeline to Georgia. Overall, a pretty successful day for Tar Heel football.