Updated: Jan 5, 2020
We’ve hit that time of the college football offseason where major storylines start to become few and far between. While it may have been a mostly silent week, there were still a few tidbits you may have missed.
Jacolby Criswell Commits to Carolina
The biggest headline of the last ten days came yesterday when 2020 4✮ DUAL Jacolby Criswell committed to Carolina. The rising senior at Morrilton High School in Morrilton, AR missed the first nine games of the 2018 season, following an knee sustained in the teams final preseason scimmage, but was able to total 1,426 yards of total offense and 14 total touchdowns in just five games. As a sophomore, Criswell threw for 1,947 yards and added 969 yards on the ground, reaching the endzone a total of 48 times. 247sports’ No. 10 DUAL in the 2020 class is the second quarterback to commit to the 2020 and helps move the Tar Heels recruiting back up to 9th in the 247sports overall class rankings.
Mack Brown Has Successful Knee Replacement Surgery
On Monday, the head coach for the Tar Heels underwent successful knee replacement surgery on his right knee. As GoHeels.com reported, the procedure was done just down the road at Duke University Hospital and was performed by Dr. Michael Bolognesi, a former defensive back for the Tar Heel under Mack Brown from 1989-93. Brown did return to work on Tuesday and is expected to be ready to go for the open to the Tar Heels summer recruiting camps this weekend.
Start Time for Week 1 Game Set
The Tar Heels open the season on August 31st against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. On Thursday afternoon, the NCAA announced the game time for the Tar Heels first meeting with the Gamecocks since 2015, a game that was played in Charlotte as well. The game will kickoff at 3:30 on ESPN, meaning that the first three weeks of the season will not see the Heels play in the dreaded 12:00 time slot. This is the third straight meeting with the Gamecocks that will open a season, as it did so in 2013 and 2015, both of which were losses.
Heels Remain in the Running for Two Defensive Line Targets
Two Tar Heel defensive line target released their top schools list earlier this week and the Heels in good standing with both. It started last Sunday when 4✮ DT Tonka Hemingway put the Heels in his top five. The Heels will have a tough time battling off favorite South Carolina, but being one of his final five teams is a start. This Sunday, 2020 3✮ SDE Joe Moore III narrowed his list down to twelve. Right now, Moore’s recruitment remains cloudy, but it’s a good start for the Heels to be among his top schools.
Kenan Stadium Ready for New Synthetic Surface
As announced earlier this week by the football program, Kenan Stadium is ready to place down the new 3D3 Root Zone synthetic grass surface. The installation is scheduled to begin in mid-June after the entire month of May was spent remove the entirety of the old grass surface and lay down a gravel surface that the turf will sit on. The surface will resemble the surfaces that are currently on both the indoor and outdoor practice fields, which are both now completely ready for fall camp.
Heels Miss Out on 2020 4✮ WR
One of the Heels top remaining in-state targets, 2020 4✮ WR Muhsin Muhammad III, announced his commitment on Monday night. The son of the former Carolina Panthers wide receiver will be heading to the SEC to play for Texas A&M, after choosing the Aggies over Carolina, NC State and Michigan State among others. Muhammad, who may have the best hands amongst the entire 2020 class, was the Heels last major target at wide receiver that was strongly considering the Heels. The 2020 class has already strongly addressed the wide receiver position, as 4✮’s Josh Downs and Ray Grier and 3✮ Tylee Craft have already committed to the class, while 3✮‘s ATH LaMareon James and Cedric Gray have the ability to play receiver. If the Heels were to begin to pursue another wide receiver to add to the class, one name to keep an eye on is 3✮ WR Jhari Patterson.
Eight Tar Heels Arrived on Campus Over the Weekend
Eight 2019 signees arrived to Chapel Hill on Sunday to begin their Carolina journies. The group is heavy on the defensive line, with 3✮ SDE Kristian Varner, 3✮ SDE Kevin Hester Jr. and 3✮ Tomari Fox enrolling, and in the seconday, as 4✮ CB Cam’Ron Kelly, 3✮ S Giovanni Biggers and 3✮ CB Obi Egbuna having all joined the team. 3✮ TE Kamari Morales and 3✮ OG Ty Murray round out the group, leaving twelve 2019 signees and transfer kicker Michael Rubino to enroll in August.