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Heel Tough Blog: Weekly Storylines- February 22nd

The last two weeks around Tar Heel football have been rather silent following the conclusion of the 2021 recruiting cycle. While there aren’t many newsworthy storylines to update you, here is a look at what you may have missed over the last two weeks.

CRA Associates

Recruiting Dead Period Extended Until May 31st

It shouldn’t come as much of a shock, but the NCAA announced on Wednesday that the recruiting dead period was being extended once again. The dead period, which has been in place since March 13th of last year, was set to expire in mid-April, but has now been extended until the end of the month of May. During the dead period, recruits have not been allowed to take on-campus visits and are not allowed to have face-to-face contact with coaches. Coaches are also prohibited from visiting a prospect’s high school or watching the prospect compete. The good news is that this extension is a much smaller one than the previous extensions meaning there seems to be a little bit of progress towards eventually getting the dead period lifted.

@toddpledger- Twitter

2021 K Todd Pledger Becomes Third PWO Commit for Upcoming Season

The Tar Heels have made it a major focus to add some kickers and punters in the last few weeks and Pledger was the latest special teams player to commit as a preferred walk-on. Pledger, who is ranked as the No. 106 kicker in the 2021 class according to Chris Sailer Kicking’s rankings, is set for his senior season at Mountain Island Charter High School in Mt. Holly, NC that will kick off next Friday after a solid junior season. Back in the fall of 2019, Pledger connected on 63 of his 71 extra point attempts and all three of his field goal attempts, while also showing major improvement from the prior year on kickoffs, registering 61 touchbacks on his 91 kickoff attempts. He joins fellow kicker Teagan Lenderink and punter Cole Maynard as walk-on’s that have committed to the Tar Heels in the past month, as they look to add some more depth on special teams.

@JakePope24- Twitter

Tar Heels One of Five Standing Out For 2022 Safety

On Wednesday, released their latest edition of the “Rumor Mill” and the inside of that update was an important tidbit on Jake Pope. The 2022 safety from Buford High School in Buford, GA has become one of the hottest names on the recruiting trail after a phenomenal junior season as part of another Buford state championship squad. With his season in the rearview, it appears that he is focusing on narrowing down his recruitment and Adam Gorney and Mike Farrell are reporting that five schools are making the most progress right now. The Tar Heels are amongst that group that seems to be standing out along with Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and Notre Dame. That will be a tough group to navigate for sure, but the Tar Heels are now entering the territory where they are in position to win some of these battles.

@HayesFawcett3- Twitter

Tar Heels in Top Thirteen for 2022 Tight End

2022 4✮ TE Oscar Delp announced his top thirteen schools via social media on Monday afternoon, one that contained the Tar Heels amongst a loaded group of big name schools. Delp, who is ranked as the No. 10 tight end in the 2022 class, received an offer from the Tar Heels back in October in the midst of a fantastic junior season where he finished with 730 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Along with the Tar Heels, his list contained Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Northwestern, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford and USC.

Two Offers Handed Out Between the 2022 and 2023 Classes

In the past month, the Tar Heels have been handing out offers to some of the biggest names in the 2022 and 2023 class and that has continued in the past two weeks. On Tuesday, the Tar Heels officially extended an offer to 2022 4✮ SDE Dani Dennis-Sutton, the No. 4 strongside defensive end and the No. 55 overall prospect in the cycle. That was prefaced by one of the first in-state offers in a while when Mack Brown and his staff extended an offer to 2023 ATH Grant Tucker last Wednesday.

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