This was another packed week of storylines around Tar Heel football, as the staff hosted another set of official visitors and an important unofficial visitor in 2023 class, while also hosting the King of the Hill 7-on-7 and Mack Brown Showtime Camp throughout. With all of that going on, there were plenty of storylines that you may have missed around the program. Here are the ones we think are the most important for you to know about.
Two 2023 Wide Receivers Set Their Commitments
Wide receiver might be the biggest need for the Tar Heels in this 2023 class and as of right now, the team does not have a single commitment at the position as of right now. However, the team did get commitment dates from two of their top targets at the position within this past week. On Saturday of last week, 3✮ WR Paul Billups announced that he will be revealing his decision on August 24th, a two-month wait from his official visit to Chapel Hill, which will take place this coming weekend. 4✮ Christian Hamilton, who will also visit this weekend, won’t wait nearly as long, as he set his commitment date for July 1st. Combine that with a decision likely coming in the near future for 4✮ Chris Culliver and 3✮ Nathan Leacock who were on campus this weekend and it shouldn’t be long before the team has a commitment at this position.
2023 4✮ Committed DT Target to Take Official Visit to Chapel Hill
On Tuesday, Keith Sampson Jr., an in-state target from New Bern, NC that is currently committed to Florida State, posted on social media that he will be taking official visits elsewhere besides Tallahassee. The Tar Heels will add him to the packed list of visitors for this upcoming as they attempt to at least make him question his commitment to the Seminoles. He did visit the Noles over the weekend, so this will be a task easier said than done, but he would be a big flip for Mack Brown and the staff, especially if they were to miss on Jamaal Jarrett and/or Daevin Hobbs at the position.
Tar Heels in Final Eight for 2023 4✮ OT Stanton Ramil
The Tar Heels seem like a longshot in this recruitment, but Ramil did place them in the top eight list that he released on Tuesday. He was on campus for an official visit the previous Wednesday through Friday and does have the connection to Conner Harrell from Thompson High School in Alabama, but this seems like a pretty steep hill for the Tar Heels to climb. Right now, in-state Auburn looks to be the heavy favorite to land his commitment, which doesn’t seem to be that far off.
2023 4✮ LB Target Jordan Hall Commits to Michigan State
This upcoming weekend was supposed to be the Tar Heels chance to impress Hall in his official visit to campus, but they will not get that chance after his commitment last weekend. He committed in the middle of an official trip to East Lansing, eliminating his stops in South Bend and Chapel Hill those next two weekends. This eliminates one of the Tar Heels options at linebacker, as they look to add at least one more to this class alongside current commit Caleb LaVallee. The focus will now fully shift to guys like Kaveion Keys, Jeremiah Telander and Lewis Carter to find that second and possibly third commitment.
2024 4✮ TE Jack Larsen to Announce Commitment on Friday
Larsen is wasting no time with his commitment, as he said this past Friday via social media that he will pick his college destination this coming Friday. The Tar Heels are one of the five finalists that still have a chance to land his commitment when he announces on Friday at 5:00 PM. The feeling from most recruiting sites is that Larsen will end up committing to Notre Dame, something that makes a lot of sense for a guy committing this early at the tight end position.
Tar Heels in Top Ten for 2024 4✮ CB Tavoy Feagin
Feagin is another 2024 target that took a step in his commitment this weekend. He announced his top ten on Sunday which featured the Tar Heels after his visit to campus earlier in the week. Carolina is joined by Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Ohio State and Oklahoma in that group of ten.
Josh Downs Named Preseason All-American by Phil Steele
With what many refer to as the college football bible set to come off the presses any day now, the Tar Heel football program announced the players that were members of his preseason All-American and All-ACC teams. Downs was the only Tar Heel to be named to one of the All-American teams, earning third team honors a wide receiver, a position group that might most talented in all of college football this season. Downs is also the only Tar Heel to land first team All-ACC honors from him, while Myles Murphy and Drew Little collected second team ones. Six other Tar Heels are listed as either third or fourth team members, including both transfers that were with the team in the spring, Noah Taylor and Corey Gaynor.
Freshman Beau Atkinson Named North Carolina Defensive Player of the Year
True freshman Beau Atkinson took home a pretty special honor of his own this weekend. He was named the North Carolina Defensive Player of the Year by HighSchoolOT.com, one of the most prestigious websites when it comes to covering high school football in the state. Atkinson finished his senior season at Leesville Road High School in Raleigh with 71 total tackles, 22.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks. He spent the spring as an early enrollee competing for reps at the RUSH end position.