Football Recruiting Board

<i>Inside Carolina</i>'s Mac breaks down the projected depth chart and the top recruits at each position for the 2002 football season.

Important to get one a year for depth and development.

2002 Projected Depth Chart
1. Darian Durant (5-11, 225, So-3)
2. Chris Stephens (6-2, 215, Jr-4)
3T. Aaron Leak (6-3, 220, So-3)
3T. Matt Baker (6-3, 215, Fr-1)

Transfer Commitment: CJ Stephens (6-2, 215, 4.75, FL) - Stephens was considered by multiple services a top 100 national recruiting coming out of HS in 99. He signed with FL, where his father was and is the OL coach, but due to a torn ACL suffered late in his senior year of HS, he quickly got "behind" other young and talented QBs Rex Grossman and Brock Berlin. Was an SEC academic all-American in each of the past two years and had a 3.9 GPA and 1300 SAT coming out of HS. Transferred to UNC this summer and will be eligible to play in 02 and 03.

1. Maurice Avery (6-0, 200, 4.55, GA) - A pass-run threat who gained 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns all-purpose last year, and accounted for 30 tds as a senior (20 passing, 10 rushing). UNC is his childhood favorite. In the "mold" of current UNC triggerman Darian Durant.
Official visit to UNC on 11/30.
Projection: UNC

2. Wyatt Sexton (6-3, 190, 4.75, FL) - Like Stephens, Sexton is the son of a prominent football coach in the state of FL - FSU's RB coach Billy Sexton. Passed for 2,900 yards and 28 TDs as a junior. Florida State, UNC, and Illinois have offered. 3.9 GPA and 1300 SAT. Currently, FSU and UNC are his top two with FSU holding a slight lead due to his father's current status and the fact that mom and dad both graduated from FSU. If, however, he can be swayed by CJ Stephens' positive experience, UNC has a chance. Has been flying up the recruiting rankings lately making some service's top 10/15 QB lists.
Official visits: UNC 1/11, FSU 1/18, NCSU 1/25, AUB?
Projection: Florida State

3. Patrick Dosh (6-3, 205, 4.75, VA) - Set to shatter all state of VA career passing marks this year (but plays for a private school team so the competition not considered strong). For a long time, UNC was his only major offer, but reportedly VAT has now offered and leads. Marshall has also offered. Will visit VAT and UNC officially.
Projection: Virginia Tech

4. Sam Williams (6-3 185, 4.6, SC) - Has accounted for 2,500 yards and 27 tds this season. Claims UNC has offered, but I do not believe that to be the case at this stage (or if he has, it is as a Safety, not a QB). Says Middle Tennessee State leads big. Set to visit AUB, SC, MTSU, and UNC
"Claimed" offers: AUB, SC, UNC, MO and LOUIS
Projections: Middle Tennessee State

With only three scholarship TBs on the roster, and none really setting the college football world on fire thus far, UNC could use a game breaker at TB.

Projected 2002 Depth Chart
1. Andre Williams (6-0, 215, Jr-3)
2a. Willie Parker (5-11, 200, Jr-4)
2b. Jacque Lewis (5-10, 190, So-2)

TB/FS Commitment: D. J. Walker (6-1, 170, 4.45, NC) - Last year (Walker's first on varsity) D. J. rushed for 1.946 yards on 255 carries (7.6 ypc average), scored 23 touchdowns, and had approximately 2250 yards of total offense. On defense, D. J. recorded 45 tackles and three interceptions. Walker had the third fastest time in the State 2-A track meet for the 100 and 300-meter hurdles. Walker earned all-area and all-conference honors and is a consensus top 20 player in NC.

1. Thomas Clayton (6-0, 200, 4.32, VA) - Top 10 national RB. Fits the Coach Powell (UNC's RB coach) ideal of a big, fast TB. Last season, Thomas rushed for over 1800 yards with 19 touchdowns to his credit. As a track star, Tom has run a 10.4 100m and a 22.3 200m. He also has the 8th fastest time nationally in the 55m at 6.2 seconds. Clayton also has some famous football-playing relatives. He has one cousin that plays for the San Francisco 49er's (Julian Peterson) and another cousin that plays running back for the University of Maryland, former Carolina signee Jason Crawford. Tom visited Chapel Hill back in April of this year. The most important aspect in choosing a college for Tom is the prospect of early playing time. In one HS game this year, Clayton rushed for over 300 yards and 6 touchdowns on a mere 7 carries. Clayton loved his official visit to UNC on 11/16 and said that UNC led big (85%) headed into his final visit with FSU. However, said the same types of things following both ND and PSU visits, and is now talking up FSU.
Official visits: ND 11/2, PSU 11/9, UNC 11/16, FSU 12/14
Offers: Dozens
Projection: Florida State

2. Nate Robinson (5-9, 175, 4.35, WA) - Nephew or former NFL scatback Eric Metcalf, basketball teammate of UNC basketball recruits Rodrick and Lodrick Stewart. Says that UNC is his favorite, but that UNC has not been in contact yet for football (he has spoken with and received materials from Matt Doherty). Scored 28 tds as a senior, including 17 rushing, 4 receiving, 3 on kick returns, 2 on punt returns and 2 on interceptions. Rushed for 1800 yards. Southern Cal (11/30) and UNC lead Arizona State (11/23), Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State. All except UNC have offered.
Projection: Southern Cal

Wide Receiver
Although UNC has adequate depth at the WR spot heading into next year, (a) UNC will graduate its top 3 WRs after '02 (Allen, Borders, Aiken) and jobs will be wide open for '03, and (b) this is a great year for WRs in UNC's primary recruiting territories so don't be surprised to see the Tar Heels "load up" on the position while the "getting is good."

Projected 2002 Depth Chart
Speed WR:
1. Bosley Allen (6-2, 195, Sr-5)
2. Brandon Russell (5-11, 190, Jr-3)
3. Jarwarski Pollock (5-8, 175, So-2)

Possession WR:
1. Sam Aiken (6-2, 200, Sr-5)
2. Chesley Borders (6-0, 190, Sr-5)
3. Harry Lewis (6-3, 210, Fr-2)

Speed WR Commitment:
Ian Firestone (6-1, 190, 4.35, PA) - Last year, he had 43 receptions for 550 yards and 7 touchdowns. On kick returns he averaged 44 yards per return. Ranked as a top 10 national WR. He committed to UNC after the Clemson game over more than one dozen offers including MIA, GAT, VA, BC, NW and PUR among others. Came to UNC unofficially in August and made his official visit for the VA game.

Possession WR Commitments:
Derrele Mitchell (6-4, 200, 4.5, NC/VA Prep School) - Derrele signed with UNC in 2001 but is spending this fall at Hargrave Military Academy to shore up his academics. Mitchell was selected last year as the NC Male Athlete of the Year after leading his basketball team (RJ Reynolds) to the state championship and accumulating 1,223 yards and 10 touchdowns on the gridiron as a senior. He was ranked as a top 50 national wide receiver coming out of high school with more than a dozen offers including offers from all the NC schools, TN, VAT, CLEM, SC and GA.

David Noel (6-4, 210, 4.5, NC) - Unknown by recruiting gurus (haven't seen him listed by a single recruiting service), but area college coaches knew all about this Billy McMullen clone as evidenced by his offers from SC, NC, WF and VA. Had a monster senior year with 44 receptions for 1024 yards and 19 touchdowns.

1. Ty Zimmerman (6-4, 200, 4.55, SC/FUMA) - Was listed as a top 100 national WR by some services coming out of HS. Committed to Clemson, failed to qualify, spending a year at FUMA and is now open between CLEM, SC and UNC (the three finalists for his services last year). Still says he is "softly" committed to CLEM, but visited UNC officially on 11/30 (also visited unofficially on 11/17).
Projection: Clemson

2. Devin Aromashodu (6-2, 185, 4.5, FL) - Ranked among the top 10 WRs in the nation by many recruiting services. Caught for over 800 yards and 8 tds as a junior. Final five are: Michigan State (11/3), Auburn (11/16), Northwestern (11/30), LSU (12/7) and UNC (12/14). All of his favorites have offered. (With the commitments UNC have at WR and the needs they have elsewhere on the board, I wouldn't be surprised to see his visit get canceled.)
Projection: Auburn

3. Franklin Payne (6-0, 180, 4.5, TN) - Caught 33 passes for 1,180 yards and 19 touchdowns. Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Auburn and Middle Tennessee State have offered.
Official Visits: Aub 11/17, Ill 12/7, Clem 1/11, GAT 1/18, UNC?
Projection: Clemson

4. Mike Williams (6-5, 200, 4.5, FL) - Top 20 national WR. Soft commitment to FL. Scheduled currently to visit UNC officially on 1/11 with his teammate Keron Gordon (S), but says he also wants to visit FL and AL and may end up canceling his UNC visit.
Visits: USC (11/17), VA (11/30), PUR (12/7), UNC (1/11)
Projection: Florida

4. Troy Williamson (6-3, 200, 4.35, SC) - Big, fast WR whose current favorites include Aub, SCAR, Clem, UGA, UNC, TN. Has approximately 10 offers. All favorites have offered. Says he will visit UNC officially.
Projection: South Carolina

5. Princell Brockenbourough (6-3, 205, 4.45, CA/VA) - Originally from Southeastern, VA, has spent the past two seasons at San Francisco JUCO working on academics. One of the nation's top JUCO WRs. Says that UNC leads if he can qualify academically - not scheduled to sign till summer.
Projection: Virginia Tech

UNC has only four scholarship CBs, with two being seniors in 2002, making CB a spot where someone can step in and play right away.

2002 Projected Depth Chart
CB -1:
1. Michael Waddell (5-11, 175, Sr-4)
2. Chris Hawkins (5-11, 175, So-2)

1. Kevin Knight (5-8, 175, Sr-4)
2. Derrick Johnson (5-8, 175, Jr-4)

Commitment: Cedric Holt (6-0, 180, 4.45, NC) - Last year, Cedric made 8 interceptions and scored 5 touchdowns for Anson County on his way to all-conference honors. Camped at UNC this summer and impressed UNC DB coach Jon Tenuta with his cover skills. Committed to UNC over CLEM, ECU (offer), NCSU and WF (offer). Grades issues could push his ultimate enrollment to 03/04.

1. AJ Davis (5-11, 175, 4.35, NC) - WR/CB prospect. AJ is considered one of the top defensive backs in the country and one of the top two overall players in NC. Last year for Northern Durham, AJ made 26 tackles, six interceptions (3 returned for TDs), 10 TDs as a receiver, and two punt return TDs. He is also the current state champion in the high jump, long jump and the triple jump. His cousin Donnie Davis was an outstanding high school quarterback in Burlington and went on to play in college at Georgia Tech. A. J. intends to run track in college and any school that will not allow him to participate in both sports will not be considered. Northern Durham has produced several outstanding players for the University of North Carolina including current players Andre Williams and Kory Bailey, former payers Sherrod and Jason Peace, and David Bomar. Additionally, current Carolina Assistant Coach Ken Browning was the Northern Durham Head Football coach for many years. Visited UNC for the FSU game and visited NCSU for the UNC-NCSU game but came to UNC's locker room post game.
Official Visits: ND 11/4, FSU 11/30, AL 1/11, UNC 1/18, NCSU 1/25
Projection: UNC

2. Demario Minter (5-10, 175, 4.45, GA) - Was voted to the NIKE Camp all-American team as a result of his impressive showing at the Atlanta Nike Camp. He has liked UNC from the beginning (and since his childhood) and the Carolina coaching staff has now offered after watching film. Demario has also has offers from Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Ohio State, and South Carolina.
Official visits: GA 12/7, MD 12/14, UNC 1/18, AUB 1/25.
Projection: UNC

3. Fabian Washington (6-0, 190, 4.4, FL) - Fabian has offers from AL, AUB, GAT, NEB, SC, and UNC, among others. May be the best "pure CB" on the UNC board. Visited UNC officially on 11/30.
Projection: Georgia Tech

4. Larry "Buddy" Williams (5-11, 175, 4.4, FL) - 92 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 blocked field goals as a senior. Teammate of fellow UNC recruits Pat Watkins and Greg Threat.
Official Visits: CLEM 12/7, SYR 12/14, UNC 1/11, MIA 1/18
Projection: Miami

5. Bryan McClendon (6-0, 175, 4.4, GA) - An "athlete" type who also plays TB and WR on offense and CB on defense. 1500 yards and 14 tds on offense and 45 tackles and 3 ints on defense. Father Willie rushed for over 2,000 yards for Georgia in college.
Official Visits: UNC 12/7, AUB 1/11, GA 1/18, GAT 1/25
Projection: Georgia

6. Fred Bennett (6-2, 180, 4.45, SC) - Ranked as a top 10 national DB prospect, Fred plays wide receiver as well as corner in High School. He caught 30 passes his junior year for approximately 500 yards (3 for touchdowns). On defense, Fred registered 79 tackles and 7 interceptions. Visited CLEM for the CLEM-UNC game and despite UNC's 38-3 win, still came out favoring CLEM citing familiarity and comfort with the coaches, school and players. Has narrowed his list to CLEM, SC and UNC, spurning offers from AUB, TN and MD. As a senior, caught 52 passes for 1154 yards and 22 tds and made 53 tackles and 6 ints on defense.
Official Visits: CLEM 1/11, SC 1/18, UNC 1/25
Projection: Clemson

7. Ray Williams (6-2, 170, 4.4, NJ) - Tall, fast CB/WR prospect. 10 td pass receptions and 7 interceptions as a senior. Offers from VA (11/30), UNC (12/7), SYR, BC, RUT, MD, PUR, IOWA, GAT and WISC.

8. Michael Gilmore (6-1, 180, 4.45, SC) - Alliancesports rates him higher than Fred Bennett (among the top 12 CBs). Lists GAT as his current favorite and intends to make an official visit to UNC on 12/14 (GAT (1/11), VAT (11/30)).
Projection: Georgia Tech

With the graduation of Billy Dee Greenwood and the pre-mature departures of Jovon Lewis and Marcus Jones this summer, S is a spot that could use another player or two.

2002 Projected Depth Chart
1. Dexter Reid (6-0, 190, Jr-4)
2. Bryant Macklin (6-0, 205, So-3)
3. Tarrence Highsmith (6-1, 190, Fr-2)

1a. Chris Curry (6-0, 190, So-2)
1b. Defonté Coleman (6-1, 220, Sr-5)
3. Ronnie Bryant (6-0, 205, Fr-2)

SS Verbal Commitment: Rashaad Tindall (6-4, 195, 4.5, NC) - Has only played football for two years. A big-time headhunter with a nasty disposition and a reckless playing style. As a junior he made 50 tackles, 10 TFL, 4 sacks and 2 interceptions as a LB and 15 catches for 300 yards and 8 tds as a WR. If he doesn't grow into an OLB, has plenty of athleticism for the SS spot as evidenced by his 39' 5" vertical and 6'6" long jump. Committed to UNC over offers from NCSU and WF and interest from VA, CLEM, and SC.

1. Pat Watkins (6-4, 200, 4.4, FL) - The nations consensus #1 S and one of the top 10 players overall. Most gurus expect him to step in and start from day one in college and be playing in the NFL three years later. Current visit list includes: GA (12/7), Miami (12/14), UNC (1/11), LSU (1/18), and Southern Cal (1/25). Also lists backyard school FSU. Teammate of UNC CB prospect Greg Threat.
Projection: Miami

2. Nate Salley (6-4, 200, 4.4, Miami, FL) - One of the nation's top 10 Safety prospects and also a star HS basketball players. Currently lists MIA slightly over UNC and Michigan State.
Projection: Miami

3. Jeff Francoeur (6-4, 205, 4.5, GA) - A top football and baseball recruit - intends to play both in college (may get drafted this spring). 5 interceptions and over 30 catches at WR so far this year. Top 5 include CLEM (1/11), UNC (1/24), GAT, MISS (1/18) and ND. UNC football-baseball player Brandon Russell (also from GA) could help out here.
Projection: Clemson

4. Maurice Hart (6-1, 208, 4.45, NC) - Another former Northern Durham product, Maurice currently plays for College of the Canyons Junior College in California. Maurice has a reputation as a big hitter. He has offers and/or heavy interest from Arizona, Arizona State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oregon and Oregon State. Carolina has offered him conditionally provided he meets his academic requirements. Don't count on this one as UNC admissions is particularly hard on JUCO transfers - see "placed" JUCOs Cory Alexander and Kareem Marshall, each of whom couldn't get admitted to UNC even though each had more than a half-dozen offers from other D-1A schools.
Projection: Kansas State

5. Jamil Tyson (6-0, 175, 4.5, NJ) - Teammates with UNC commitment Melik Brown and UNC lean Patrick Faulk. Plays QB and FS in HS, but projects as a FS at the next level. His final three, all of whom have offered, include UNC, PITT and WV.
Projection: West Virginia

6. Brandon Mitchell (6-2, 185, 4.55, GA) - Favors UNC (12/7) over DUKE, GAT, MD, SC, WF and UAB - all have offered except UNC. 53 tackles and 8 interceptions as a senior as well as 35 catches for 700 yards and 8 tds at WR. 3.7 GPA and 1140 SAT.
Projection: DUKE

7. Tommy Richardson (6-2, 208, 4.55, Miami, FL) - Lists UNC (12/7) among his top 5 currently. Has offers from BC, FL, MD, ND, OSU, and VAT.
Projection: Florida

8. Duante Fields (6-1, 160, 4.5, Miami, FL) - WR/FS prospect. 50 tackles and 6 interceptions on defense and 30-500-10 as a WR. Also has 2 tds on returns. Currently claims offers from VAT, BC, UNC, IAST and VANDY. Visted BC 10/27, visiting IAST on 12/8 and UNC on 11/30 then will decide.
Projection: Boston College

9. LeKendrick Bridges (6-2, 170, 4.4, TX) - CB/FS/WR prospect. Has run a 10.3 100 in track. 8 td receptions and 2 ints as a junior. Wants to play both basketball and football in HS. Currently favors UNC over GAT, LSU and MD.
Projection: Georgia Tech

10. Keron Gordon (6-1, 180, 4.5, FL) - FS/WR prospect who lists LSU (11/10), UNC (1/11) and PUR as his top three.
Projection: LSU

UNC did not add a fullback in 2001 and it is possible that Richard Moore may not return for a fifth year. Thus, a pure fullback could really help this year.

Projected 2002 Depth Chart
1. Madison Hedgecock (6-2, 247, So-3)
2. Richard Moore (6-2, 240, Sr-5)
3. James Faison (6-0, 225, Jr-4)

1. Brandon Schweitzer (6-3, 230, 4.7, NC) - This Hendersonville product is a "jumbo athlete" who can play FB/TE/LB. He is a state championship wrestler and is a workhorse throwback in the mold of John Bunting, Madison Hedgecock and Will Chapman. Last year, he caught over 30 passes for approximately 500 yards and 4 touchdowns. On defense, he made over 100 tackles. Current favorites include FL, UNC, SC, NAVY and WF. One major obstacle for UNC is that Brandon would like to be an engineer someday and UNC does not have a pure engineering major (though it does have engineering "related" majors). Visited UNC for FSU game and SC for AL game and lists SC and Florida as his favorites. Set to visit UNC officially on 1/18.
Projection: South Carolina

2. TA McClendon (6-0, 230, 4.5, NC) - All-time NC record holder in yards (8,000) and all-time national HS record holder in touchdowns (120+). Despite these accomplishments, recently reported that he had no offers, likely due to qualification issues and prior arrest record. Has been reported to have made academic strides and now says schools have begun to offer. UNC only got involved within few weeks so it may be too late.
Projection: North Carolina State

3. Jesse Allen (6-2, 215, 4.6, MA) - Rushed for 2,300 yards as a senior. Lists BC, WISC and UNC as his favorites.

Tight End
Once considered a dire position of need, seems to be addressed with the following two early commitments (but see FB Schweitzer and listed DL prospects Moe Thompson and Aaron Kirkland for "jumbo athletes" that many have projected at TE in college).

2002 Projected Depth Chart
1a. Bobby Blizzard (6-7, 265, Jr-4)
1b. Zack Hilton (6-7, 265, Sr-5)
3. Brian Chacos (6-5, 260, Fr-2)

Transfer Commitment: Bobby Blizzard (6-7, 265, 4.7, VA) - National top 100 and top 3 TE in the nation coming out of HS. Originally signed with high octane offense of Hal Mumme at Kentucky coming out of HS where he made 30 catches as a true freshman and true sophomore. Decided to transfer to UNC this summer when Hal Mumme was fired. Will be eligible in 2002 and 2003.

Commitment: Lewis Burnham (6-5 ½, 240, 4.75, NJ) - The son of Len Burnham, who played DE on the Philadelphia Eagles with John Bunting in the 70s and who is currently Vice President of the NFL. Lewis plays OL in HS because he is one of the biggest kids on his team and is a great blocker. However, at 240, he doesn't project to OL at the next level (unless he puts on 40-50 pounds). Camped at UNC and worked with Coach Browning at the TE spot where he showed good speed, tremendous hands, good route running and a great overall grasp on the TE spot. Was offered as a TE on the spot (though he could also play DE) and committed to UNC over offers from KY, IA and RUT. Official visit to UNC on 11/30.

1. Martrez Miller (6-5, 235, 4.5, GA) - Super fast TE who claims offers from ECU, DUKE, MINN and UNC.
Projection: Duke

2. TaBryron Adams (6-7, 255, 4.8, FL) - Teammate of highly ranked WR prospect Ryan Moore (who is considering UNC slightly as a FB-BB prospect). 11 catches for 102 yards and 2 tds as a senior. UCF has offered, also being recruited by MD, UNC, NCSU and MIA.
Projection: UCF

3. Brad Schell (6-5, 225, 4.7, MD) - ILL (11/16) was his favorite, but they stopped recruiting him. Maryland (11/30) has taken over the top spot. VAT (12/14) has also offered. UNC (12/7) is recruiting, but has not yet offered.
Projection: Maryland

With all three LB starters departing after this year and less than adequate depth, LB is a huge need for 2002 and a position where someone could step in and play right away.

2002 Projected Depth Chart
1. Robert Harris (6-1, 228, Sr-4)
2. Doug Justice (6-3, 228, Fr-2)

1. Devllen Bullard (6-1, 228, So-3)
2. Clarence Gaddy (6-3, 228, So-3)

1. Malcolm Stewart (6-3, 228, Sr-4)
2. Clay Roberson (6-3, 228, Jr-4)

Melik Brown (6-2, 228, 4.55, NJ) - Committed to UNC over offers from more than a dozen schools including TN, GAT, WISC, MICHST, RUT and others. 58 tackles and 9 sacks as a junior. Could project at either OLB or DE, but likely to start out at OLB in college. Visiting UNC officially on 12/7.

Victor Worsley (6-2, 228, 4.6, NC) - Victor's a big hitter that has caused over 15 fumbles the last two years. In his junior year, Victor recorded 120 tackles. Rates among the top 15 players in NC. Committed to UNC over offers from BC, CLEM, ECU and WF.

1. AJ Nicholson (6-2, 228, 4.6, NC) - AJ's father, Darrell, played for Carolina during the Crum era (also as a linebacker). AJ's favorite team growing up was Carolina and has stated that it has always been his dream to play for UNC. Committed to UNC very early this summer, but decided to he wanted to take some other visits to "keep his options open" and "make sure his choice was the best one for him." Last season, for Winston-Salem, Mt. Tabor, he had 160 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. AJ is considered one of the top two prospects in NC and among the top 5 LBs in the nation.
Official visits: TX 11/10, UNC 12/16, FSU 1/11, MIA 1/18, TN 1/25
Projection: UNC if you listen to the "inside word" from those that know his dad; whoever gives him the best shot to win 4 national championships if you listen to AJ himself.

2. Bobby Carpenter (6-3, 235, 4.6, OH) - Top 15 national LB prospect whose father played for the New York Giants in the NFL. Lists OSU (12/7), MICHST, UNC, NW, ND and STAN as his top 6. Scheduled in for an official visit to UNC on 11/30.
Projection: Ohio State

3. Brandon Archer (6-2, 215, 4.6, MN) - 85 tackles and 19 tackles for loss as a senior. Says he favors Illinois and UNC currently. His brother is a starting LB for Minnesota.
Official Visits: MN (11/16), ILL (11/30), IA (12/7) and UNC (12/14).
Projection: Illinois

Blake Ferguson's premature departure and Jeff Reed's graduation make K/P a position of need.

David Wooldridge (6-3, 200, NC) - Davie County K/P whose only HS misses have come from 45+ yards and more than 70% of his kickoffs are touchbacks. Averaged a whopping 44.9 yards/punt as a senior. Committed to UNC over offers from WF and DUKE and heavy interest from NCSU and VA.

Offensive Line
A decade long sore spot with UNC fans, of which Coach Bunting has made no secret of his desire to upgrade. Thus, look for UNC to go for around four more OLs this year (after grabbing 6, 3, and 6 over the past three).

2002 Projected Depth Chart
1. Issac Morford (6-3, 285, Sr-5)
2. Marcus Wilson (6-3, 285, Jr-4)

1. Jason Brown (6-3, 330, So-2)

1. Jupiter Wilson (6-4, 295, Jr-4)
2. Chase Page (6-5, 270, So-2)

1. Jeb Terry (6-6, 305, Jr-4)
2. Willie McNeill (6-4, 295, So-3)

1. Greg Woofter (6-5, 285, Jr-4)
2. Skip Seagraves (6-5, 285, So-3)

Commitment: Whit Efrid (6-4, 310, 5.1, NC) - Whit comes to UNC out of West Stanly High School in Oakboro, North Carolina. Whit is extremely strong, as evidenced by his 410 bench press and 525 squat. He averaged five pancake blocks as an offensive lineman last year and also performed the kicking duties for West Stanly. Whit is considered a consensus top 25 player in NC and is ranked as a top 60 national OLman.

1. Marcus McNeil (6-7, 310, GA) - Among the nation's top 5 OL prospects. Marcus currently lists UNC, MIA and GAT as his three favorites, and he grew up a Carolina fan when he lived in Fayetteville, NC. He has since moved to Georgia, but still has some family in the area. Visited NCSU for UNC-NCSU game and reportedly made his way to the UNC locker room after the game. Also saw UNC at the GAT-UNC game. Official visit to UNC on 11/30. 46 tackles and 13 sacks at DL as a senior, 76 pancake blocks on offense.
Projection: UNC

2. Brandon Jefferies (6-5, 270, NC) - Brandon is ranked by as the #2 G in the nation. He hails from Shelby, NC (Crest High School, same school as Chesley Borders). Brandon is quick for a young man his size (4.8 40) and strong (400 lb. Bench press). He will probably wait until late January or early February before deciding - says he is open among TN, SC, UNC, NCST and VAT. Visited unofficially for the WF game.
Projection: UNC, TN or NCSU (too close to call)

3. Kyle Ralph (6-5, 280, OH) - Top 10 national offensive G prospect who committed to Vanderbilt earlier this spring, but has now opened up the process following Woody W's resignation. Now lists OSU (12/14), FL, ILL (12/7) and UNC (1/11) among his favorites, along with BC, MISS, SC, TN, ND, PITT and VANDY. All have offered.
Projection: Florida

4. Brian Johnson (6-5, 290, FL) - Top national OL prospect who currently states that UNC leads, followed closely by LSU.
Official Visits: LSU 11/30, UNC 12/7, CLEM 1/11, ARK 1/18, FSU/NCSU/SC 1/25.
Projection: UNC

5. Jimmy Martin (6-5, 300, VA/FUMA) - Originally from Chantilly, VA, is spending a year at Fork Union to shore up academics. UNC official visit on 11/30.
Projection: Virginia Tech

6. Dustin Fry (6-3, 300, SC) - State wrestling champion and former HS teammate of current Tar Heel Chase Page. Dustin bench presses 400 lbs. and squats over 600 lbs. Currently favors Clemson slightly over South Carolina, Carolina and Maryland. Visited UNC unofficially for the ECU game.
Official visits: UNC (11/30), SC (12/7), MD (1/4) and CLEM (1/11).
Projection: Clemson

7. Jonathan Palmer (6-6, 310, 4.8, GA) - Teammate of UNC lean Marcus McNeill. Plays DT and OT in HS. Visiting UNC officially on 12/7.
Projection: UNC

8. Jabari Levy (6-8, 300, SC) - CLEM and SC lead TN and UNC for this mammouth OL prospect out of Berekely, SC.
Official Visits: TN 1/11, SC 1/18, UNC 1/25, FSU 2/1
Projection: South Carolina

9. Patrick Faulk (6-3, 260, NJ) - OT/DT prospect. His cousin Kurt Faulk played football for UNC in the 80s. Teammate of current UNC commitment Melik Brown. 90 tackles and 8 sacks from his DT spot as a senior. UNC currently has a huge lead over MD, MINN, SYR and WISC. All five have offered and SYR and WISC like him at DT.
Projection: UNC

10. Randy Hand (6-6, 300, FL) - National top 100 player. Has set visits with UNC 11/30, UVA 12/7 and SC 12/14. Also going to trip to two from FL, MICH and MIA.
Projection: Virginia

11. Jeff Edwards (6-5, 285, GA) - Former teammate of current Tar Heel Brandon Russell. Set to visit Ohio State 11/30, Maryland 12/7 and Stanford 1/11. Also considering DUKE, NW, and NC. 3.5 GPA and 1250 SAT and says academics are extremely key to his recruitment.
Projection: Stanford

12. Frank Straub (6-6, 305, KY) - UNC currently leads BC, Cincy, KY and Louisville for his huge OL prospect out of KY. UNC is the only school among his top 5 that has not offered at this stage.
Projection: Kentucky

13. Jonathan Benson (6-5, 280, NC) - West Montgomery student who was awarded the prestigious UNC Morehead Scholar with a 4.4 GPA and a 1570 SAT. It is my belief that UNC would likely be recruiting him but for his Morehead candidacy - i.e., if he comes to UNC as a Morehead Scholar, could "walk on" the football team because UNC isn't recruiting him. UNC's main competition for Jonathan is coming from Harvard, Yale and Princeton, with schools like Stanford, Virginia and Wake Forest actively recruiting him for football and academically.
Projection: Morehead walk-on

14. Joseph Stutts (6-0, 260, NC) - Center prospect from Wilson-Fike in the mold of current UNC starting C Adam Metts (6-0, 260). East Carolina and Marshall have offered Joseph a scholarship, but Joseph has said that he is UNC bound when and if they offer. Even if UNC decides not to offer, the UNC coaching staff would like to see Joseph come aboard as a "recruited walk-on" with the potential to earn a scholarship down the road like Will Chapman, David Thornton, Robert Harris, David Bomar, Ross McAllister, Jeff Reed, etc. in recent memory.
Projection: UNC walk-on

15. Leroy Harris (6-5, 285, 5.0, NC) - This Southeast Raleigh OL/DT prospect is currently committed to NCSU but says he may visit UNC and/or ECU officially this December. 50 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior.
Projection: North Carolina State

Defensive Tackle

With Sims leaving and the injury to Chapman, Heels could use a couple more here

2002 Projected Depth Chart
1. Donti Coates (6-3, 290, Jr-4)
2. Jonas Seawright (6-6, 310, So-3)

Rush DT:
1. Will Chapman (6-4, 275, Jr-4)
2T. Eric Davis (6-3, 275, Sr-5)
2T. Carl Smalls (6-2, 275, So-3)

Transfer Commitment: Carl Smalls (6-2, 275, 4.9, SC) - Committed to SC out of HS after considering UNC, decided to transfer to UNC this past summer and will be eligible in 2002-2004. NC-SC Shrine Bowl MVP coming out of HS. Top 40 nationally ranked DT coming out of HS. Chiseled frame, strong and fast for his size.

Antavius Barrino (6-5, 260, 5.0, NC) - Signed with UNC out of Forest Hills in 2001, but a bout with mono in August put him out of action and he decided to wait till January 2002 to enroll thus giving him 5 years of eligibility beginning in 2002. 95 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 5 sacks as a senior. Top 40 nationally ranked DT.

Kendall High (6-6, 260, 4.9, West Rowan HS, NC) - Nicknamed "man-child" due to the fact that he is an awesome physical specimen (body of a competitive bodybuilder). 50 tackles, 9 pressures, 6 sacks as a junior. Voted overall Conference Player of the Year as a senior. Committed to UNC over scholarship offers from SC, MD, WF and ECU.

1. Aaron Kirkland (6-5, 260, 4.8, NC) - Great "jumbo athlete" prospect from Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Aaron is considered as one of the top 100 players in the nation at the tight end position. Could project at TE/DE or DT (my personal belief) at the next level. Carolina is primarily recruiting Aaron to play defensive end, the position he prefers to play, where Aaron recorded 80 tackles and 7 sacks as a junior. He caught 8 passes for 110 yards on offense. All of his favorites have offered. Had a great unofficial visit for the FSU game and UNC currently is dead even with TN - it looks like it could go either way.
Official Visits: MICH 11/30, FSU 12/?, MD 1/4, UNC 1/11, TN 1/18
Projection: Too close to call between TN and UNC with MICH and FSU coming on strong as well.

2. Moe Thompson (6-3, 260, 4.8, SC) - Similar to Aaron in size, ranking and possible positions he could play. His mom has asked Moe to not consider schools beyond 4-6 hours from his home because she wants to come see him play regularly. Moe actually grew up in Durham and only moved to SC within the past five-seven years. UNC currently holds a slight lead over SC, and CLEM (all have offered as have AUB, GA and GAT). Visited Clemson unofficially for the UNC-CLEM game. As with Kirkland, this one seems to go back and forth depending upon the day - this time between UNC and SC.
Official Visits: UNC 1/11, FSU 1/18, SC 1/25, CLEM 2/1
Projections: Too close to call between UNC and SC.

3. Mickey Rice (6-2, 290, 5.0, SC) - Visited unofficially for the WF game. Currently lists MICHST, MD, SC, TN and UNC as his top five. So far, only Michigan State and Tennessee have offered. Visited UNC unofficially for DUKE game.
Projection: Tennessee

4. Quincy Darley (6-2, 270, 4.9, SC) - 92 tackles and 15 sacks as a senior. Shrine Bowl selection. Favors GAT (offer), MD (1/11), UNC and WF (1/4, offer).
Projection: Wake Forest

4. Jamil Smith (6-4, 280, 4.8, NC) - Western NC product that is starting to make some noise on the recruiting front with offers from DUKE, GAT and WF. Says he intends to visit UNC officially this winter.
Projection: Wake Forest

Defensive End
With Julius Peppers and Joey Evans departing after 2001, and with only three apparent DE contributors on the roster (Dumas, Mooring and Banks) absent the shift of one or more current LBs down, DE is a spot where a newcomer is needed to step in and contribute right away.

2002 Projected Depth Chart
1. Issac Mooring (6-3, 260, Jr-4)
2. Jeff Longhany (6-4, 250, Fr-2) (DE/LB)
3. Tommy Davis (6-2, 250, Fr-2) (DE/LB)

1a. Jocques Dumas (6-8, 260, So-2)
1b. Jermicus Banks (6-4, 260, So-3)

Gaines Adams (6-6, 230, 4.6, SC/FUMA) - Was set to sign with UNC in 2001, but needs to spend a year at prep school shoring up academics first. As a senior in high school, Gaines recorded 22 sacks on defense and caught over 1300 yards as a wide receiver. In three games at FUMA this year, Gaines already has 15 tackles for loss at his OLB spot. CLEM, ILL, MICHST and VA also offered. Visited unofficially for the WF game and officially on 11/30.

1. Brandon Cannon (6-5, 235, 4.65, GA) - A teammate of another UNC recruit, CB Demario Minter. The two may be a package deal and each lists UNC. Cannon is generally ranked among the top 15 DEs in the nation
Official Visits: MD 12/14, UCF 1/4, AUB 1/11, CLEM 1/18, UNC 1/25.
Projection: UNC

2. Xavier Rainey (6-4, 230, 4.55, GA) - Visited UNC officially on 11/30.
Projection: UNC

3. Steve Kelip (6-7, 225, 4.7, IL) - Huge frame with plenty of room for growth. Made an unofficial visit to UNC this past summer and his current list of favorites includes AZ, BC, DUKE, ILL, MICH, MICHST, ND and UNC. Recently broke his fibula - keep an eye out as to whether some schools pull out of the sweepstakes.
Official visits: MICHST 11/30, AZ 12/7, GAT 1/4, UNC 1/11
Projection: Michigan State

4. Marcus Jackson (6-4, 250, 4.7, GA) - A DE/DT type who could go either way depending on future "growth." Ranked among the top 30 national DLs. Likes the GA, SC, FL, AL and NC schools. Made an unofficial visit to UNC for the ECU game.
Projection: Georgia

5. Eric Terry (6-4, 230, 4.6, NC) - A DE/DT prospect whom UNC has begun to recruit a lot more aggressively as of late. Richmond County had long-been a UNC pipeline, but that pipeline has recently eroded (Randy Jones to VA last year) and could continue to erode with new coach Ed Emory (former ECU HC and CLEM, DUKE and WF assistant) heading up the fabled Raider program. ECU, NCSU, SC, CLEM and VA are also expressing interest.
Projection: East Carolina

6. Manny Lawton (6-6, 215, 4.5, NC) - A fabulous "athlete" from Eastern Wayne who is hard to place at any one position on a recruiting board. Plays WR and DE in HS, but could project at WR, TE, DE, or LB depending upon his future growth. Last year made 54 tackles, 7 sacks, 6 pass deflections, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception.
Projection: East Carolina

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