For the first time since the end of the 2019 season, we heard from head coach Mack Brown about where this team sits as we grow closer to the start of spring practice for the 2020 Tar Heel team. A few headlines from that press conference and some other recruiting updates make up this week’s storylines that you may have missed.
2021 5✮ CB Tony Grimes Set a Visit to Campus
The Tar Heels are one of the early competitors for the service of the No. 7 overall player in the 2021 class and on Saturday, the Tar Heels took an important step in his recruitment. The Tar Heels will have Grimes on campus on March 20th as first reported by Deana King of Tar Heel Illustrated. This will be Grimes third visit to campus, but the first of the new year and first since announcing his commitment date. While there is still a long way to go in his recruitment, this visit, along with the fact that he told Inside Carolina’s Don Callahan that the Tar Heels are a strong possibility, the staff has to feel great about their standing with the top corner in the 2021 class.
Heels Receive Important Visit From Evan Pryor After Dead Period Ends
The winter dead period for recruiting came to an on Sunday and the Tar Heels wasted no time getting recruits on campus. 2021 4✮ RB Evan Pryor was on campus Sunday, something that raised a lot of eyebrows and shows just how closely tied the Tar Heels are to what may be their biggest remaining target in the class. Pryor seems to be closing in on a commitment and ths visit to campus likely means the Tar Heels will start receiving some crystal ball predictions in the near future.
Former Tar Heel Tight End Headed to James Madison
The Tar Heels had two tight ends enter the transfer portal this offseason and now both have found their destinations. After Carl Tucker announced he was transferring to Alabama earlier this offseason, Noah Turner found his destination last Sunday. The former Tar Heels failed to register a catch in his three year career at Carolina, but will now have a chance to finish his career in Harrisonburg with the FCS runner-ups from a year ago. Turner will be eligible immediately and will have the chance to play in Kenan Stadium one last time on September 19th when the Dukes will travel to Chapel Hill for what will be the Tar Heels’ home opener. Turner has two years of eligibility remaining.
Former Tar Heel Linebacker Lands Head Coaching Job at State High School Powerhouse
One of the top high school programs in the state of North Carolina has been looking for their replacement for the last few weeks. On Monday night, Charlotte Observer writer Langston Wertz Jr. announced that Mallard Creek, the home to former Tar Heels like Marquise Williams and Brian Walker, has replaced former head coach Mike Palmieri with former Tar Heel linebacker Kennedy Tinsley. Tinsley was a four-year scholarship player for the Tar Heels from 2006 to 2009, finishing his college career with 60 total tackles and 1.0 tackle for loss, as well as the power clean record for a Tar Heel linebacker. Now, the former Southeast Guilford head coach will have a chance to run one of the state’s best teams, a relationship that the Tar Heels will hope to build on with now that Tinsley is in place. In his time at Southeast Guilford, Tinsley posted a record of 32-9 headlined by a 2018 run to the 3AA state championship game.
Early Enrollees Have Added Weight
One of the more interesting things that Mack Brown mentioned in his press conference was the amount of weight added by the true freshman early enrollees. Tight end John Copenhaver has added 10 lbs. since he arrived on campus and is now up to 225 lbs., something that could be important for a player who will have a chance to make a major impact at an inexperienced and thin tight end position. Cameron Roseman-Sinclair is up to 201 lbs. from 192 lbs. as he looks to make an impact in the secondary has some playing time available at the safety positions, which is where he will make his impact. The biggest difference, though, is Kedrick Bingley-Jones, who is up 18 lbs. to 293 lbs. ahead of a fall camp where he will have to be a major contributor. With the weight gain, Bingley-Jones is the one of the favorites to take snaps at nose tackle with Jahlil Taylor and Wisdom Asaboro out for spring practice due to injury and fellow true freshman Clyde Pinder Jr. not arriving until the summer. Expect Bingley-Jones to be talked about a lot this spring.
Secondary Battles Will Be Extremely Interesting This Spring
This is something that we’ve been anticipating since last offseason because this 2020 secondary is loaded. Not only will you bring back players like Storm Duck and Trey Morrison, guys who played big roles for you last year late in the season, but you will also get Patrice Rene and Cam’Ron Kelly back from injuries, both whom should be able to be major contributors when they return in the fall. That doesn’t even take into account Kyler McMichael and Bryce Watts, who are both eligible after having to sit out last season after transferring, and the early enrollee in Cameron Roseman-Sinclair, who has the talent to make an immediate impact at safety. While there are still some important pieces that will be missing from this team until fall camp, there are a lot of talented players who will be battling for reps when this team takes the field on March 17th.