On Monday night, the Tar Heels landed their first defensive commitment of the 2023 class in 4✮ DL Joel Starlings following an official visit to campus. The hope of many is that this will be the opening of the floodgates for the team in the 2023 cycle, which has gotten off to a slower start than the previous two classes. The buzz following the commitment seems to suggest that this is the case and that the next commitment might not be that far off. Here is a look at three names that we think you should keep an eye on that could be the next commitment to the class.
4✮ EDGE Joshua Mickens- Lawrence Central (Indianapolis, IN)
Mickens was on campus this weekend for his own official visit and the Tar Heels, who already appeared to be in a strong spot with him heading into it, secured their spot as the heavy favorites. Even before he went on the visit, Steve Wiltfong, director of football recruiting for 247Sports, casted a crystal ball in favor of the Tar Heels and the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine is strongly in the team’s favor after the visit. With no other official visits scheduled as of right now, everything seems to point to this being an inevitable commitment and it might not be that far off.
4✮ LB Lewis Carter- Tampa Catholic (Tampa, FL)
Carter was a prospect that flew under the radar heading into the weekend amongst the official visitors, but that is no longer the case. The Tar Heels seemed to make a sizable impression on him and like with Mickens, he does not currently have any other official visits publicly scheduled for this summer right now. At the least, this weekend secured the fact that the Tar Heels will be a major factor in this recruitment moving forward. With the connections that Carter has to the in-state schools, especially Florida, it would be shocking if he doesn’t officially visit somewhere else, but if the Tar Heels really did leave a lasting impact, you never know.
3✮ IOL Layth Ghannam- George Washington (Charleston, WV)
Ghannam was yet another official visitor to Chapel Hill this past weekend and is another guy whom the trip seemed to leave a strong impression with. According to the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine, the Tar Heels are firmly in the driver’s seat after the visit and just like the two players above, he does not have any other official visits scheduled publicly for this summer. West Virginia will definitely have something to say in this recruitment of the top player from their home state, but the Tar Heels have to feel really good about their chances to hold off the Mountaineers.