The Tar Heels’ 2023 class is closing in on early signing day and the program on the precipice of closing out yet another top 20 class under Mack Brown. The class is once again bolstered by a strong haul from in-state, headlined by names like Jaybron Harvey, Christian Hamilton and Chris Culliver. While that is quite the group of talent, the Tar Heels might not be done on the home front just yet.
In an article written by Adam Friedman of Rivals.com earlier this week, he revealed that there is some buzz around Noah Rogers, the top player in the state of North Carolina in the class, and a possible flip. The No. 45 overall player according to 247Sports, Rogers has been committed to Ohio State since late June, but has been a guy tabbed as a flip candidate by many since early in the fall. Most of the chatter was linked to NC State after his commitment, the team that was seen as the biggest threat to Ohio State back in the summer, but they are no longer seen as the top team to land him if he was to flip. That title now lies with Mack Brown and the Tar Heels, who have remained in touch with him this entire time and are supposedly making an impression on him with what they have accomplished so far this season.
Friedman referenced two big elements that the Tar Heels have in their favor: the offense with Drake Maye this season and his brother being a member of the team. While Maye will likely only be in Chapel Hill for one more season, the departure of Antoine Green and possibly Josh Downs will leave opportunities for playing time at receiver next year. Even if Rogers wasn’t able to play a major role next season, the Tar Heels’ system as a whole has to be attractive with the success that the team has had since Mack Brown’s return. The element of his brother is certainly noteworthy, but it didn’t carry that much weight when he first committed so it’s hard to think it will make the difference now.
Getting Rogers on campus would be a big boost towards completing this flip. It will be a challenge considering he is scheduled to take his official visit to Ohio State for their matchup with Michigan in the final week of the season. Him being just down the road in Rolesville, NC is a bonus, but with the dead period looming after that final week of the regular season, it would appear that this weekend would be the best opportunity to host him in Chapel Hill. More important is what the staff is able to do during the contact period that follows the abbreviated dead period. That contact period was where Brown and his staff built their initial class back in 2019 and it could be the deciding factor in this recruitment.
With the decommitment of Rico Walker late last week, adding another cornerstone to the class like Rogers would certainly be welcome to help secure that top 20 class. It will take some work, but the good news for Carolina is that it seems like Rogers is at least considering the move at this point. Now the question becomes can Mack Brown and his staff work some recruiting trail magic as they have done so often since his return?