The Black Friday match-up marks the 106th time North Carolina and NC State will meet on the football field. On the recruiting trail, the two Triangle Area rivals have crossed paths an untold amount.
Below are three starters from each team who considered Friday’s opponent before committing.
Class of ‘13, Rochelle (Ga.) Wilcox County, 3-star, No. 75 WR
Howard entered his senior year of high school favoring Kentucky, Louisville, UNC, and NC State. That September, he made his first recruiting visit to Chapel Hill. A day after returning home, he pledged to the Tar Heels.
Howard, who has started every game this season, ranks second on the team with 45 catches for 710 yards and a team-high six touchdowns. His 16 career touchdown receptions is tied for seventh in UNC’s record books. He has 138 career receptions for 1,931 yards.
Class of ‘13, Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military, unranked
After spending his high school years at Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland, Green prepped a semester at Hargrave. The following January, he decided to enroll at UNC as a preferred walk-on over a similar opportunity from NC State. Shortly thereafter, he was placed on scholarship.
Green, who ended UNC’s interception drought with a pick six last week, has started every game this season at free safety. He ranks fourth on the team with 58 tackles and has four pass breakups. In the three prior seasons, he has appeared in 39 games with 16 starts.
Class of ’13, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian, 4-star, No. 28 S
Early into his recruitment, Lawrence narrowed his focus to four ACC schools – Clemson, Duke, UNC, and NC State. After attending a Tar Heel spring practice, he began contemplating a commitment. A return a week later with his parents pushed him over the edge.
Lawrence ranks fifth all-time at UNC with 25 career pass breakups. He also has the most targets without allowing a touchdown among ACC defenders this season. Lawrence, who has started all 25 games the past two seasons at cornerback, has totaled 172 tackles, including 9.0 for a loss, during his career.
Class of ’14, Oakboro (N.C.) West Stanly, 3-star, No. 70 DE
After earning scholarship offers from both NC State and UNC at camps on consecutive days during the summer prior to his senior year, Hill was prepared to make his collegiate decision. A couple of days later at a ceremony at his home, he decided on the Wolfpack.
Hill, who not only saw the field his true freshman year but started five games that season, has started all 24 games at defensive tackle the past two years. For his career, he has tallied 123 tackles, 19.5 TFLs, five sacks, and eight QB pressures.
Class of ’15, Garner (N.C.), 4-star, No. 18 RB
When Hines announced his favorite schools list early in his senior year of high school, UNC, a school he visited several times, was excluded. However, UNC resurfaced when his finalists were revealed just before his announcement. That December, he selected NC State over fellow finalists Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia, UNC, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.
Hines, an All-ACC honorable mention as a specialist in 2015, ranks fifth in NC State’s record books with 1,561 career kickoff return yards, while his 24.3 kickoff return average ranks ninth. This season, the All-American track star is second on the team with 35 receptions for 443 yards, but zero touchdowns.
Class of ‘15, Lincolnton (N.C.), 4-star, No. 14 DT
In the July prior to his senior year at Lincolnton High, Roseboro unveiled a top six consisting of Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, UNC, NC State, and Tennessee. A month and a half later, he pledged to the Wolverines. Almost immediately, he began to regret his selection, which prompted an official visit to NC State. Days after returning from Raleigh, he de-committed. Two weeks later, Roseboro became a member of the Wolfpack’s recruiting class.
Roseboro, who has played in all 11 games this season with a start at defensive end, ranks ninth in the ACC with seven sacks. He’s made 23 total tackles, plus 10.5 TFLs and four QB pressures. As a true freshman last year, he appeared in all 13 games making 18 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss and four sacks.
While Chris Ingram is the lone member of NC State’s commitment list who possessed a UNC offer, nine of the Tar Heels’ 16 pledges held NCSU offers: J.T. Cauthen, Jake Lawler, Marcus McKethan, Jonah Melton, Jordon Riley, Malik Robinson, Billy Ross, Tre Shaw, and Tyler Smith.
There aren’t any outstanding recruiting battles between the two programs.