This weekend was a big one for the Tar Heel football program, as they hosted major targets in the 2024 and 2025 classes. 2024 5✮ QB Jadyn Davis and 2025 5✮ OT David Sanders headlined the group, but the biggest news from the weekend came by way of a lesser-known target in the 2024 class.
As first reported by Inside Carolina’s Don Callahan, linebacker Evan Bennett has become the first commitment for the Tar Heels in the 2024 class. The Tar Heels were the leader for Bennett the minute they offered him back in November and this second weekend clearly showed him enough to pull the trigger.
Bennett is coming off of a strong junior season at Gatewood High School in Eatonton, GA where he was a major contributor on both sides of the ball. He was named a GIAA Class 2A All-State member after finishing the season with 100+ tackles, 842 all-purpose yards and 11 total touchdowns in his first season as a varsity player.
Bennett is an extremely raw prospect, to say the least. His athleticism and versatility are the strengths of his game right now, but figuring out where he fits will be a challenge for this staff. He is a really solid tackler and looks good when he has to drop into coverage, but doesn’t show a lot of physicality on film and isn’t faced with a lot of situations where he is forced to shed blocks to make plays. He showed some nice things as a downhill runner, but he will have to add a bit more twitchiness and acceleration moving forward if he wants to play running back at the next level. While he played some wide receiver for the team this past season, one spot that may make sense for him at the next level is tight end. He did some really good things as a lead blocker out of the fullback position and showed some nice hands in his snaps as a receiver. I would like to see him play more snaps at tight end next season to get a feel for whether or not he could actually play there. The biggest concern with him, though, is the level of competition he is facing at the GIAA 2A level. It’s obvious when you turn on the film that he is playing a lot of undersized and overmatched competition and I would like to see him be even more dominant than he was this season next year as a senior. This is a prospect that as of right now will be a project for this staff when he arrives to Chapel Hill.
While this isn’t the biggest splash that the team could have made, it is an important addition because it gets the ball rolling in this 2024 cycle. More importantly, it gives the Tar Heels their first commitment out of the state of Georgia, a state that will have a major impact on how this class ultimately shapes up for the Tar Heels.