The Tar Heels' hot streak on the 2023 recruiting trail continued earlier today, as the Tar Heels once again tapped into the Virginia pipeline to land one of their top targets.
Shortly before noon on Tuesday, 2023 3✮ TE Julien Randolph announced his commitment to Carolina over Miami, Vanderbilt and others via social media. A one-time Vanderbilt commit, his recruitment changed heavily with offers earlier this spring and the Tar Heels jumped in right after his decommitment to make the push that would ultimately put them over the top. The timing of the commitment is an interesting one, considering that Randolph will be taking his official visit to Chapel Hill over the weekend, one that he will now be taking as a commit instead of just as a target.
Randolph, the No. 41 tight end in the 2023 class and No. 24 player in the state of Virginia according to 247Sports Composite player rankings, is heading into his senior season at Independence High School in Ashburn, VA, his first year at the school after spending his first three seasons at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, VA.
The first thing that immediately jumps off the page with Randolph is his size at 6’5, 210 lbs. He uses that length extremely well on tape by high-pointing the football, something that makes a lot of sense considering the fact that he also plays basketball. The frame and ability to go up and get the football should allow him to win a lot of 50/50 balls and be a threat in red zone. He is very physical with the ball in his hand as he consistently fights for extra yards and while he may not be the fleetest of foot, a 4.6 40-time shows there is a little bit of speed there. Playing on the outside like he did most of his time at high school level shows he can bring similar versatility to what we will likely see in Chapel Hill from Bryson Nesbit at times this season and also means he is a much more polished route runner than a lot of pure tight ends that come out of high school. The biggest learning curve and the thing that could prevent him from having a major role early in his time in Chapel Hill is blocking. He didn’t do a whole lot of it on tape and when he did, it was typically as an outside receiver against much smaller corners. This is a guy, though, that has a lot of potential, especially as a pass catcher, and could be one of the steals of this class if he develops quickly as a run blocker.
With his commitment, the Tar Heels 2023 class now sits as the No. 42 overall class in the country and the No. 8 class in the ACC according to 247Sports Composite team rankings. The Tar Heels will hope to continue this momentum into this weekend that will now have a commit among the group of official visitors.