Much of the certainty with the Tar Heels’ class is attributed to its record amount of early enrollees. Nearly half of its current class, including its two highest ranked members Jalen Dalton and William Sweet, at the moment is likely either sitting in a UNC classroom or studying in their Chapel Hill dorms.
That’s significant, because four of the nine early enrollees officially visited other schools in spite of their commitments to UNC – J.K. Britt (Kentucky), Andre Smith (Nebraska and Wisconsin), Sweet (Louisville, LSU, Missouri, and Tennessee), and Ty’Son Williams (Wisconsin).
Coming out of the Dead Period, Tommy Hatton was UNC’s only pledge truly contemplating future recruiting visits elsewhere. However, last weekend’s official visit to the campus – his first to Chapel Hill since June – rekindled his affection for the school. Thus, the four-star center was compelled to quit his wavering.
“I’m 100-percent committed [and] I tweeted that out [on Sunday],” Hatton told Inside Carolina a day after his UNC official. “I was thinking about taking other visits, but after this official I’m solid now.
“I really don’t know what it was – I just felt at home there… I feel loved there and I’m looking forward to changing this program around. And it’s not just me – a lot of kids are too. No more 6-7 seasons – that ... is not acceptable to us. We’re trying to win. I want football to be more of a pull on campus… Playing for ACC Championships every year is a realistic goal of ours. I know it’s a lot of talk right now, but I think we can do it.”
As for Prentice McKinney, who switched his commitment from Notre Dame to UNC on Wednesday night, he has yet to speak publicly about his pledge – outside of his statement on Twitter, that is.
“I haven’t had that conversation with him,” said Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff assistant coach R.J. Bond regarding whether McKinney would take future official visits. “I think he’s pretty happy with his commitment, though. But again, we’re talking about 16-, 17-year old kids – you know how that goes.”
UNC is hoping to flip at least one more committed prospect – four-star defensive lineman Jason Strowbridge. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder has been verbally committed to Kentucky since September, but took an official visit to UNC in December followed by one to NC State last weekend. Furthermore, the Tar Heels staff has made Strowbridge a priority with a couple of heavy hitting in-home visits the past couple of weeks.
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