(6-3/6-6, 230/260, 4.6-4.8 guys who can project as Defensive Ends/Tight Ends/Rush DTs)
DE - 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 to DE, this is a spot where a newcomer is needed to step in and contribute right away.
TE - Was once considered a dire position of need for 02. Bobby Blizzard's transfer in and Zack Hilton's emergence solved the immediate need - though it is still important to build this position for the future given that Blizzard and Hilton are 4th and 5th year players.
Rush DT - UNC could use some depth and skill here after the departures of Anthony Perkins and Issac Montgomery.
Target number: 4/5
Lewis Burnham (6-5, 240, 4.8, NJ) - TE/DE. The son of Len Burnham, who played DE for 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).
Offers: UNC, KY, IA, RUT
Official visit to UNC on 11/30.
Ranking: SP #29 in NJ, Alliance #45 TE, Insiders #41 TE
Gaines Adams (6-6, 230, 4.7, SC/FUMA) - DE/TE. Was set to sign with UNC in 2001, but needed 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. At FUMA this year, Gaines made 15 sacks at his OLB spot. Visited unofficially for the WF game and officially on 11/30. A "soft" commitment since he is still planning on making some other visits.
Offers: UNC, CLEM, VA, ILL, MICHST, WV, VAT.
Official Visits: UNC 11/30, CLEM 1/11
Kendall High (6-6, 260, 4.8, 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.
Offers: UNC, SC, MD, WF and ECU.
Official Visit: 12/14
Ranking: Alliance #60 DT, Lemming 3 stars
1. Aaron Kirkland (6-5, 260, 4.8, NC) - Great "jumbo athlete" (TE/DE/DT) prospect from Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Recorded 80 tackles and 7 sacks as a junior. Also caught 8 passes for 110 yards on offense. Unofficial visit for the FSU game.
Official Visits: MICH 11/30, MD 1/4, UNC 1/11, TN 1/18, PSU 1/25
Ranking: SP #4 TE, Alliance #3 TE, Insiders #7 TE, Lemming 3 stars
Projection: No stated leader.
2. Moe Thompson (6-3, 260, 4.8, SC) - Selected as SC's Mr. Football this season. Similar to Aaron in size, ranking and possible positions he could play. His mom 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. Visited Clemson unofficially for the UNC-CLEM game.
Official Visits: UNC 1/11, SC 1/25.
Offers: SC, CLEM, UNC, AUB, FSU, GA, GAT
Ranking: SP #3 Jumbo ATH, Alliance #34 TE, Insiders #28 TE, Lemming 3 stars
Projection: Too close to call between SC and UNC
3. Brandon Cannon (6-4, 235, 4.7, GA) - A teammate of another UNC recruit, CB Demario Minter. The two may be a package deal and each lists UNC. 60 tackles and 9 sacks as a senior; 75 tackles and 10 sacks as a junior.
Official Visits: MD 12/14, UCF 1/4, AUB 1/11, CLEM 1/18, UNC 1/25.
Ranking: SP #41 in GA, Alliance #10 WS DE
4. Xavier Rainey (6-4, 235, 4.65, GA) - Great physical specimen who is an unknown to the recruiting services.
Official Visit: 11/30
Ryan Sims was a huge loss at NT, leaving a wide open battle for the starting spot and an opportunity for early playing time.
Target number: 1
1. Mickey Rice (6-1, 290, 5.0, SC) - Visited unofficially for the WF and DUKE games. Currently lists MICHST, MD, SC, TN and UNC as his top five (visits unknown). 88 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior.
Offers: TN, MICHST
Ranking: SP #24 in SC, Alliance #64 DT, Lemming 3 stars.
2. Quincy Darley (6-2, 280, 4.9, SC) - 105 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior and 92 tackles and 15 sacks as a senior. Shrine Bowl selection.
Offers: GAT, WF
Official Visits: WF (1/4), MD (1/11), UNC (1/18)
Ranking: SP #16 in SC
Projection: Wake Forest
3. Jamil Smith (6-4, 280, 4.8, NC) - Western NC product that is starting to make some noise on the recruiting front. NC-SC Shrine Bowl selection - has reportedly been impressive in practices.
Offers: GAT, WF, DUKE
Ranking: Alliance #55 DT
Projection: Wake Forest
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.
Target Number: 3
(SAM) Melik Brown (6-2, 228, 4.55, NJ) - 58 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and and 9 sacks as a junior.
Offers: 12+ including TN, GAT, WISC, MICHST, RUT, PITT, BC, UNC.
Official Visit: 12/7
Ranking: SP #16 in NJ, Alliance #23 WS DE, Lemming 4 stars
(MIKE) Victor Worsley (6-2, 228, 4.6, NC) - Victor is a big hitter that made over 600 tackles in his career and caused over 15 fumbles the last two years. In his junior year, Victor recorded 126 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 6 sacks.
Offers: UNC, BC, CLEM, ECU, DUKE and WF.
Ranking: SP #13 in NC, Alliance #35 LB, Lemming 3 stars
(WILL) Tommy Richardson (6-4, 208, 4.55, Miami, FL) - A bone crushing headhunter who has the size and frame to end up as a 6-4, 235 OLB. 80 tackles and 4 interceptions as a senior.
Official Visit: 12/7
Offers: UNC, AUB, MD, IOWST and RUT
Ranking: Alliance #25 S
1. AJ Nicholson (6-2, 228, 4.6, NC) - AJ's father, Darrell, stared at LB for Carolina during the Crum era. 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 see what is out there. Last season, for Winston-Salem, Mt. Tabor, he had 160 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles.
Official visits: TX 11/10, FSU 1/11, UNC 1/16 ?, MIA 1/18, TN 1/25
Ranking: SP #4 LB, Alliance #3 MLB, Insiders #3 LB, Lemming 5 stars
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 Rob played for the New York Giants and Houston Oilers in the NFL. Visited UNC officially on 11/30 and after his UNC and OSU visits told one service that OSU led and another that UNC led.
Offers: 12+ including OSU, UNC, MICHST, NW, ND, STAN
Visits: OSU 11/16, UNC 11/30, MICHST 1/11
Ranking: SP #19 LB, Alliance #13 OLB, Lemming 4 stars
Projection: Ohio State
Defonté Coleman will be a senior and Marcus Jones departed prematurely this summer.
Target Number: 1
Rashaad Tindall (6-4, 190, 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.
Offers: UNC, NCSU, WF, ECU
Ranking: Lemming 3 stars
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. (Note: several of the key targets project nearly equally as well at either WR or CB, so it is likely that UNC will try to sign 4 and put 3 at CB and 1 at WR)
Target Number: 4
Commitment: Cedric Holt (6-0, 195, 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. Grades issues could push his ultimate enrollment to 03/04. NC-SC Shrine Bowl starter - was reportedly impressive in practices.
Offers: UNC, ECU, WF
Ranking: SP #31 in NC, Alliance and Lemming 2 stars
1. AJ Davis (5-11, 175, 4.35, NC) - WR/CB prospect. Last year for Northern Durham, AJ made 26 tackles, 6 interceptions (3 returned for TDs), and 10 TDs as a receiver, and 2 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. Visited UNC unofficially on 12/16 for football practice and a basketball game.
Official Visits: ND 11/4, FSU 11/30, TN 1/11, UNC 1/18, NCSU 1/25
Ranking: SP #5 DB, Alliance #6 CB, Insiders #3 CB, Lemming 5 stars
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). 52 tackles, 18 pass deflections and 4 interceptions as a senior; 40 tackles, 8 deflections and 4 interceptions as a junior. MD leads slightly after his 1st visit.
Offers: AUB, GA, GAT, MD, OSU, UNC, SC
Official visits: MD 12/14, GA 1/11, CLEM 1/14, UNC 1/18, AUB 1/25
Ranking: SP #15 in GA, Alliance #9 CB, Insiders #18 CB, Lemming 3 stars
3. Michael Gilmore (6-1, 180, 4.45, SC) - May be the best "pure CB" on the board. Was all but wrapped up for GAT before O'Leary's departure, now more open.
Official Visits: VAT 11/30, MD 12/14, UNC 1/11, WF 1/18, GAT 1/25
Offers: GAT, UNC, MD, WF, VAT
Ranking: Alliance #44 CB
4. 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 4 ints on defense. Father Willie rushed for over 2,200 yards for Georgia in college. Was quoted as saying UNC led immediately prior to his 12/7 official visit.
Offers: UNC, LOUIS, AUB, GA, GAT, +
Official Visits: UNC 12/7, LOUIS 12/14, AUB 1/11, GA 1/18, GAT 1/25
Ranking: SP #44 in GA, Alliance #16 ATH
5. Fred Bennett (6-2, 180, 4.45, SC) - WR/CB. Caught 30 passes his junior year for approximately 500 yards (3 for touchdowns). On defense, Fred registered 79 tackles and 7 interceptions. As a senior, caught 52 passes for 1154 yards and 22 tds and made 53 tackles and 6 ints on defense.
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.
Offers: CLEM, SC, UNC, AUB, TN, MD.
Official Visits: CLEM 1/11, SC 1/18, UNC 1/25
Ranking: SP #7 DB, Alliance #52 S, Insiders #33 CB, Lemming 4 stars
6. Ray Williams (6-2, 170, 4.4, NJ) - Tall, fast CB/WR prospect. 10 td pass receptions and 7 interceptions as a senior.
Offers: VA, UNC, IOWA, SYR, BC, RUT, MD, PUR, GAT and WISC.
Official Visits: VA 11/30, UNC 12/7, IA 12/14, PSU/MD/GAT 1/18 & 1/25
Ranking: SP #25 in NJ, Alliance #28 CB
Projection: Penn State
7. Larry "Buddy" Williams (511, 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: UNC 12/14, 1/4 CLEM, 1/18 MIA, SYR?, GAT?
Offers: UNC, FSU, CLEM, MIA, SYR, GAT, +
Ranking: Alliance #26 CB
8. Jejuan Rankins (5-9, 175, 4.4, NC) - WR/CB prospect from Bertie, NC. 42 catches for 922 yards and 12 tds at WR, 62 tackles and 15 interceptions at CB and 1,176 yards and 6 touchdowns on kick and punt returns.
Offers: 40+ (UNC has not offered as of yet)
Official Visit List: NCSU 11/30, GA 1/11, OKL 1/18, MD/UNC 1/25, MICH?
Ranking: SP #17 WR, Alliance #10 WR, Lemming 5 stars
With the graduation of Billy Dee Greenwood and the pre-mature departure of Jovon Lewis this summer, FS is a spot that could use another player or two.
Target Number: 1 (or 2 if UNC can add a superstar from its remaining board)
Duante Fields (6-1, 160, 4.5, Miami, FL) - WR/FS prospect. 50 tackles and 6 interceptions on defense and 35-800-12 as a WR. Also has 2 tds on returns.
Offers: WISC, VAT, UNC, BC, RUT, IAST, VANDY, MARSH
Official Visit: 11/30
Ranking: Alliance #53 WR
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. Teammate of UNC CB prospects Bud Williams and Greg Threat.
Official Visit List: UNC, GA, MIA and FSU in January.
Ranking: SP #1 DB, Alliance #2 S, Lemming 5 stars
2. Nate Salley (6-3, 190, 4.4, Miami, FL) - Top safety prospect and also a star HS basketball player (wants to double in college). 72 tackles as a junior and 70 more as a senior. Currently lists MIA and UNC as his top two.
Offers: MIA, UNC, NCSU, MICHST, OSU, +
Official Visits: MICHST 12/14, NCSU 1/11, OSU 1/18, UNC 1/25, MIA?
Ranking: SP #44 in FL, Alliance #8 S, Insiders #21 S, Lemming 4 stars
3. Lamart Barrett (6-2, 190, 4.5, FL/CT) - WR/DB who is originally from Miami, FL, is spending a year at a CT prep school to shore up academics. Played QB, WR, DB and return man in HS where he accounted for over 2000 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior.
Visited UNC officially on 12/14.
4. Olaolu Sanni-Osomo (6-2, 195, 4.5, GA) - Just recently moved to the US and has only been playing football for two-years. Great athletic ability. 80 tackles and 3 interceptions as a senior. 3.4 GPA and 1080 SAT.
Offers: GA, STAN, FL, AUB, UNC, KY, ND
Official Visits: GA 1/11, STAN 1/18, FL 1/25, AUB/UNC?
Ranking: Alliance #34 S, Lemming 3 stars
5. 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. UNC football-baseball player Brandon Russell (also from GA) could help out here. Long-shot as he has stated he may decide before making scheduled UNC visit.
Official Visit List: ND 11/2, CLEM 1/11, MISS 1/18, UNC 1/25.
6. Brandon Mitchell (6-2, 185, 4.55, GA) - 53 tackles and 8 interceptions as a senior as well as 35 catches for 850 yards and 9 tds at WR. 3.7 GPA and 1140 SAT. Currently favors GAT.
Offers: GAT, UNC, NW, LOUIS, SYR, MD
Official Visit List: LOUIS 12/14, NW 1/11, GAT 1/15, UNC 1/18.
Ranking: SP #61 in GA, Alliance #68 WR
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.