This week wasn’t quite action packed as last week was around Tar Heel football, as the commitment of 2022 3✮ OT Trevyon Green stole most of the headlines during the middle portion of the week and Robert Gillespie's departure for Tuscaloosa dominated them over the weekend. While no other storylines seemed to stand out as much as those two, there were still some others that you may have missed that are worth updating you one. Here is a look at the ones that caught our attention over the past week.
Three Tar Heel Walk-On’s Receive Scholarships
In a team meeting on Monday, the staff announced that three walk-on’s from this past season were receiving scholarships for this spring and summer. Kickoff specialist Jonathan Kim was the first to be handed a scholarship following a season where 76 or his 89 kickoffs went for touchbacks and he led the nation in overall kickoff yardage. The second player to receive a scholarship was special teams captain British Brooks, who was a major part of the kickoff return unit and led the Tar Heels with 53 yards rushing on 15 carries in the Orange Bowl. The final player to receive his scholarship was offensive lineman Quiron Johnson, who had played a big role for the team early on in the season as a rotational guard and tackle and eventually made an important start at center in the game against Wake Forest.
Tar Heels in the Top Three for Dontae Balfour
The Tar Heels lone remaining target in the 2021 cycle announced his final three schools on Sunday. The Tar Heels join LSU and Auburn as the teams that will battle it out for his commitment ahead next Wednesday’s national signing day. Balfour, the No. 62 cornerback in the 2021 class, was offered by Dré Bly and the Tar Heels back on Christmas Eve and the offer appeared to have an immediate impact on him and his recruitment. Auburn has been the long time favorite for him, but the Tar Heels have fought to put themselves in a good spot as his recruitment hits its final week.
Tar Heel Land PWO Commitment of 2021 Cycle
The Tar Heels landed their first walk-on commit for the 2021 season on Monday in place kicker Teagen Lenderink. In his lone season at Brentwood Academy in Brentwood, TN, Lenderink put together one of the best single season kicking performances in the state of Tennessee’s, hitting all 32 of his extra point attempts and connecting on 20 of his 28 field goals, falling one made field goal away from tying the single season state record and earning Tennessee Titans’ Mr. Football Kicker of the Year for the 2020 season. Prior to his transfer to Brentwood Academy, Lenderink had a successful two year stretch with Rockford High School in Rockford, MI, earning all-state honors from the Detroit Free Press, all-conference honors for the Ottawa-Kent-Red League and all-area honors from MLive-Grand Rapids as a junior in 2019. Lenderink is rated as the No. 8 kicker in the 2021 class according to ChrisSailerKicking.com.
Major Target Malaki Hamrick Sets New Commitment Date
Hamrick is one of the Tar Heels’ most important targets in the 2022 class and this past Monday, the 4✮ outside linebacker announced that he has a new commitment date. Hamrick, the No. 5 player in the state of North Carolina in the 2022 recruiting cycle, is now set to reveal his college decision on February 26th, a decision that will be between the Tar Heels, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame and Appalachian State, a group he released back in late November. With Hamrick growing up a Tar Heel fan and nearly committing on the spot when he was offered a scholarship by the staff back in the summer bodes well for the Tar Heels, but it’ll be a relief to end a recruitment where Ohio State has done all they can to make a push.
Tar Heels Land in Dante Anderson’s Top Schools List
Mack Brown said in his post-signing day press conference back in December that the Tar Heels recruiting footprint extends from the DMV down to Georgia, but that if they had to, they will go outside of that area from time to time to land a player they really like. 2022 4✮ WDE Dante Anderson, who hails from Homestead High School in Homestead, FL, would fit the bill as one of the players that would be worth going outside of the footprint for. The No. 8 weakside defensive end in the class of 2022 announced his final fifteen this past Monday, one that did involve the Tar Heels. Anderson seems to be very receptive to the Tar Heels just judging from his social media, but this going to be a tough task to go into Miami’s backyard and steal him away with other in-state schools such as Florida and Florida State involved. The good news is, the list doesn’t contain any national powerhouses like Clemson, Ohio State or even Georgia, so it feels like, just by looking at the list, the Tar Heels have a fighting chance if they want to heavily pursue him.
Chazz Surratt Accepts Senior Bowl Invite
Surratt was invited to the Senior Bowl back in mid-November, but it wasn’t until Thursday that he officially accepted the invite. Surratt will join Michael Carter as the Tar Heels that will be a part of the festivities in Mobile with the National team, one that is set to be coached by Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins staff and will also feature his brother Sage. The first day of practice took place on Tuesday, with both Surratt and Carter in action for the National team. The Senior Bowl will kick off on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 PM EST on the NFL Network.
ACC Set to Announce Schedule on Thursday
The ACC is wasting no time setting the schedule for the 2021 season, as the conference announced on Friday that they will release the conference schedule for football this coming Thursday. The Tar Heels are set to find out their 2021 ACC slate that will contain home games with Duke, Florida State Miami and Virginia and road games with Georgia Tech, NC State, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. The schedule will be announced on the Packer and Durham show on the ACC Network at 9:00 AM on Thursday morning.