Under former coach Butch Davis, the North Carolina Tar Heels were very, very good on the recruiting trail. At times, simply dominant. Sure, there may have been some rule-bending with certain aspects of the program, (cough cough, JOHN BLAKE, cough cough), but there’s absolutely no denying Davis and co. brought in NFL caliber talent.
Second year coach Larry Fedora isn’t quite on the same level as Davis in terms of salesmanship, but he’s very good in his own right. His first full class last year was downright solid. No 5-stars sprinkled in that we grew accustomed to seeing under Davis, but an awful lot of very good players. This year’s class of 2014 needs to be equally good to continue the team’s development under Fedora.
So far, things are off to somewhat of a slow start for the Heels, but that could be changing. Prior to yesterday, the Heels had three commitments for the class of 2014. Two of those three commitments, cornerback Tajze Battle (Fort Myers, FL) and defensive end Robert Dinkins (Charlotte, NC) had committed way back in June of 2012. The third and last commitment was a kicker. Safe to say, some Heels fans were probably growing restless.
But, as I mentioned earlier, things could be changing. Yesterday brought news that lineman Caleb Samuel had picked UNC as his school of choice. Samuel is a tremendous two-way lineman that offers elite versatility. At 6-foot 6, 260 pounds, he’s got just a tremendous frame for growth. Right now, he could play defensive end. Add 20 pounds, he could play three tech. Add 40 pounds, you’re looking at a well-manicured left tackle on the offensive line. I just can’t stress how much coaches love versatility, especially in the college game, and that’s what Samuel has.
Samuel, from Stratford Academy in Macon (GA), is picking the Heels over Miami, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. As of late, he’s also been receiving an awful lot of interest from Florida State, but he plans on sticking with his commitment to UNC.
Fedora is hoping the commitment of Samuel begins a run of commitments that he’s been waiting for. He would love to add some on-the-fence guys like receiver Terry Googer (College Park, GA), athlete Stanton Truitt (Monroe, GA) and linebacker Tyrell Tomlin (Marietta, GA), all of whom have shown a lot of interest in North Carolina lately.
It’s not a great class yet, but with some patience and persistence (and a little salesmanship, in a non-Davis/Blake way), it very well could be.