It’s been a pretty wild week on the 2022 recruiting trail and a lot of the news has involved some of the Tar Heels top prospects in the class. Here’s an update on some of the recent news around some of the staff’s 2022 primary targets.
5✮ OT Gunner Givens
Givens announced on Tuesday afternoon that he was set to release his top school list the next day and he did so on Wednesday evening shortly after 6:00. The Tar Heels were a bit of a surprise when they landed in the 6’8, 280 lbs offensive tackles’ top twelve back on September 20th, but now they appear to be someone that needs to be taken seriously in this recruitment after landing making the cut once again. The Tar Heels will be facing some tough competition through the rest of this process, as Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama are amongst the top six. It’s a steep hill to climb, but the Tar Heels are establishing a ton of momentum in the state of Virginia on the recruiting trail so you can’t count them out here.
5✮ OT Zach Rice
Givens isn’t the only Virginia-based offensive tackle that the Tar Heels have established a strong relationship with in this 2022 cycle. Rice has really enjoyed the attention that he has received from both the staff and the fanbase. He has also been able to grow a little closer to the team, as well over the past couple of weeks, as he has attend each of the Tar Heels past two games thanks to Coach Deon Glover, an assistant coach at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach and the father of current Tar Heel cornerback Tony Grimes. It still appears to be early in this one, but the Tar Heels appear to be one of the top competitors out of the gate.
4✮ OLB Jalon Walker
Walker has been progressing his recruitment rather quickly and took another step in the cycle on Friday afternoon. Walker, the No. 2 player in the state of North Carolina in the 2022 class, released a top six which included the Tar Heels as the only in-state school amongst this loaded group. Joining the Tar Heels are Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State, some of the toughest competition on the recruiting trail each and every year. Walker has been quiet outside of the top schools list, so it’s hard to get a strong read on where he is leaning, but Clemson and Georgia seem to be the two with a little bit of an advantage early one, but the Tar Heels are still in the hunt.
4✮ OT Collin Sadler
It has been a big week for the Tar Heel offensive tackle targets in the 2022 cycle and it all began on Monday when Sadler announced the commitment. Sadler, a Tar Heel legacy of John Schroder, a former player for the team in 1958 and 1959, announced his commitment on Monday afternoon via social media, becoming the first major Tar Heel target to commit in the 2022. Unfortunately for the Tar Heels, the talented young tackle, who has drawn comparisons to current Colts offensive guard Quinten Nelson in the way he plays, has decided he will stay close to home in Greenville, South Carolina, as he committed to Clemson. While it is early, and the Tar Heels will likely stay in touch, it will be an extremely tough task to flip his commitment, especially with him being an in-state commitment for the Tigers.
4✮ TE Benji Gosnell
Gosnell was the second major target to announce his commitment this week and once again this was one that didn’t quite go the Tar Heels way. Gosnell, the brother of current Tar Heel wide receiver Stephen Gosnell, came into his Wednesday decision with a top three that involved the Tar Heels, the Florida Gators and his eventual selection, the Ohio State Buckeyes. It feels like he definitely has a really strong tie to the Buckeyes at this time, but this is not a player that the Tar Heels are going to throw the towel in on with how early it is. Expect them to continue to pursue Gosnell until he signs that letter of intent next December.