Recruiting Analysis: Skill Positions

If you check Inside Carolina's Recruiting Board each day, you already have an accurate and updated overview of UNC's recruiting efforts. Now, get a closer look as IC breaks down the board position by position.


2006 Depth Chart 
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
12Joe Dailey 6-1 205Sr/Jr39
11Cam Sexton 6-1 185So/Fr 20
T.J. Yates 6-5190Fr/Fr 38
 B.J. Phillips 6-5225 Fr/Fr 76
18 Joey Bozich 6-2228Jr/So NR
23 Ben Johnson* 6-1190 Jr/Jr NR
13Jay Spence* 6-1 218Jr/JrNR

Although the entire depth chart returns following the 2006 season, the Tar Heels still plan to sign one quarterback for their 2007 class. They extended scholarship offers to plenty of highly touted gunslingers, but were able to receive a verbal commitment from the top quarterback on their recruiting board – Mike Paulus.

Mike Paulus
6'5" 208 lbs. 4.80
Syracuse (N.Y.) Christian Brothers Academy

A four-star prospect, Paulus is the tenth ranked quarterback and 84th ranked recruit in the nation by

Paulus ended his recruitment early [April 28th] to concentrate on his senior football season and assist in North Carolina's recruiting efforts. He chose the Tar Heels over more than 30 scholarship offers including fellow finalist Southern Cal, Tennessee, LSU, Miami, and Alabama.

A prototypical pocket quarterback, Paulus releases the ball quickly while displaying a strong arm with nice touch. He has great pocket awareness and an ideal frame.

As a junior, Paulus led Christian Brothers Academy to a 7-2 record. On the year, he passed for over 2,100 yards and 20 touchdowns with a 59 completion percentage.


2006 Depth Chart 
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
25Ronnie McGill 5-11 220Sr/SrNR
21Justin Warren 6-1 192Jr/Jr NR
32Barrington Edwards 6-0230Sr/Jr 5
26 Richie Rich 5-9190 So/Fr 34
34 Antwain Carey 6-0215Jr/So 59
31 R.J. Waters 6-0220 So/Fr NR
4Bobby Rome 5-11 240So/FrNR
 Johnny White 5-10 190Fr/Fr 41
 Anthony Elzy 5-10 195Fr/Fr63

After landing two solid 'backs with last year's class, the Tar Heels are only looking to ink one tailback in their 2007 recruiting class. UNC sent out a select few scholarship offers to tailbacks and have already landed their number one tailback target -- Ryan Houston. With McGill graduating after the 2006 season, and Warren and Edwards leaving the following season, the starting role will be up for grabs soon after Houston almost arrives.

Ryan Houston
6'2" 255 lbs. 4.80
Matthews (N.C.) Butler High School

A four-star prospect, Houston is the 20th ranked defensive end in the nation by, but is being recruited by UNC exclusively at tailback. also ranked him as the 53rd recruit in the Southeast region.

After Houston stopped delaying the feeling that UNC was "the best fit," he verbally committed on June 23rd over scholarship offers from Clemson, Florida, Louisville, Marshall, Miami, Michigan, N.C. State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.

A bulldozing ‘back in the Jerome Bettis mold, Houston plays with plenty of power, and is surprisingly fast and agile for a man his size. Keeping his weight down will be one of his biggest obstacles.

As a junior at Butler High School, Houston was named to the All-Conference and Charlotte Observer All-Area teams after accumulating 1,910 yards and 34 touchdowns.


2006 Depth Chart 
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
43Nick Starcevic 6-2 235So/SoNR
36Kennedy Tinsley 6-0 210So/Fr NR
85E.J. Wilson 6-2260So/Fr NR
48 Michael Briggs* 6-0255 Jr/So NR
33 Daryl Porter* 5-9241So/So NR

The Tar Heels loaded up at the fullback position with the 2005 recruiting class when the Tar Heels landed Starcevic, Tinsley, and Wilson. With Tinsley and Wilson having all four years of their eligibility remaining and walk-ons adding additional depth, the coaching staff will not offer a fullback during this recruiting season.

Wide Receiver

2006 Depth Chart 
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
9Jesse Holley 6-3 208Sr/Sr 22
88Brooks Foster 6-3 200Jr/So 59
87 Brandon Tate 6-1193 So/So NR
3 Kenton Thornton 6-5225 So/Fr 37
82 Dirk Engram 5-10170 So/Fr 84
  Hakeem Nicks 6-2210 Fr/Fr 33
  Deunta Williams 6-3185 Fr/Fr 14(S)
  Ryan Taylor 6-4210 Fr/Fr 46(TE)
  Anthony Parker-Boyd 6-1200 Fr/Fr NR
15 Justin Henderson* 5-11192 Jr/Jr NR
19Will Lawing* 5-9 175Jr/Jr NR
82Christopher Barnes* 5-11 170Jr/Jr NR

With the loss of five letterwinning wide receivers last season, quality and quantity is needed at this position. Additionally, as many as two of the four members from the 2006 recruiting class listed on the wide receiver depth chart could end up being a better fit at another position.

The staff hopes to add between two to four wideout prospects to this group from the 2007 recruiting class. One prospect has already made a verbal pledge – Dwight Jones - while the Tar Heels have a solid shot at a handful of others.

Dwight Jones
6'3" 205 lbs.
Burlington (N.C.) Cummings High School

A four-star prospect, Jones is the 17th ranked wide receiver in the nation and 31st ranked recruit in the southeast region by

On February 15th, Jones became the first member of the Tar Heels' commitment list when he verbally pledged to UNC over scholarship offers from N.C. State, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech.

Still highly coveted, just about every ACC and SEC school has now extended an offer with schools like Florida continuing to test the firmness of his verbal commitment. However, Jones hasn't wavered.

A possession receiver, Jones displays a nice set of hands and the ability to use his frame to shield defenders from the ball.

During his junior season at Cummings High School, Jones caught 49 passes for 962 yards (19.6-yard average) and eight touchdowns.

Targets With Offers
Jason Barnes

6'4" 195 lbs. 4.45 Charlotte (N.C.) Independence High School
Two schools have extended scholarship offers to Barnes -- UNC and South Carolina -- and he will choose between the two shortly after camping at Chapel Hill this weekend.

Barnes comes out of the wide receiver/quarterback factory known as Independence High, which means he is both polished and competitive.

Recruited by: Dave Brock

Greg Little

6'4" 210 lbs. 4.60 Durham (N.C.) Hillside High School
Little has over 50 scholarship offers and hasn't shown signs of a list of favorites in months. However, he's constantly seen in Chapel Hill and is expected to be returning to "the Hill" this weekend for the Tar Heels' individual rising senior camp. He will announce his verbal commitment during his homecoming game on October 6th.

An athlete in every sense of the word, Little is very raw, but has a high ceiling. He uses his strength to create separation and avoid the jam.

Recruited by: Kenny Browning

Lansford Watson

6'3" 225 lbs. 4.60 Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln High School
Watson is another recruit who will be visiting Chapel Hill this weekend, but isn't certain yet whether he will actually participate in camp. Prior to this trip, Watson favors Maryland [the only school he has visited], but is also strongly considering Florida State, UNC, Rutgers, and Southern Cal -- all have offered.

A nice sized target, Watson doesn't shy away from using his size to his advantage, and displays great body control to come up with the jump ball.

Recruited by: Dave Brock

Also on Radar
NameSchool HtWt Fty
Tori Childers Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy 6-6215 4.65
Danny DembryAhoskie (N.C.) Hertford County HS6-3185 4.60
Cameron Ford Anderson (S.C.) Hanna HS 6-4 2124.60
Sean JeffcoatFayetteville (N.C.) Britt HS 6-21804.60
Markish JonesSpartanburg (S.C.) Broome HS6-1 190 4.40
Kenronte Walker Fayetteville (N.C.) Westover HS6-1 1854.60

Tight End

2006 Depth Chart 
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
86Jon Hamlett 6-4 260Sr/Sr35
81Rock Wells* 6-4 250Sr/Jr NR
89Richard Quinn 6-4235Jr/So 58(WR)
  Vince Jacobs 6-6218 Fr/Fr 28
  Ed Barham 6-3225 Fr/Fr 73
 Trevor Stuart 6-4 250Fr/Fr NR
83 Fleming Thompson* 6-3210 So/So NR

Although starting tight end Jon Hamlett graduates after the 2006 season, a trio of tight ends were brought in with last year's recruiting class [four if Ryan Taylor moves to tight end]. Ideally, though, the UNC coaching staff would like to sign at least one tight end with the 2007 class, with a possibility of two.

Targets With Offers
Rob Gronkowski

6'6" 235 lbs. 4.75 Williamsville (N.Y.) North High School
Gronkowski, who holds 20-plus scholarship offers, hasn't officially established a final five, but is strongly considering six schools -- Arizona, Clemson, Maryland, UNC, Ohio State, and Syracuse. He is visiting UNC Wednesday and will then narrow his list prior to the start of his senior season. Don't expect a verbal commitment from Gronkowski until late in the process.

One of the most complete tight ends in the nation, Gronkowski excels in blocking and has an impressive pair of hands.

Recruited by: Dave Brock

Wesley Saunders

6'5" 270 lbs. 4.80 Durham (N.C.) Riverside High School
Saunders has claimed UNC as his leader for quite some time now despite the constant flow of scholarship offers, which currently stands at nine. Just like most of the Durham area recruits, Saunders makes regular visits to Chapel Hill and camped there in early June.

Amazingly athletic and fast for his size, Saunders could play just about any position on the football field. He's a man among boys on the high school level.

Recruited by: Kenny Browning

Andrew Sczerba

6'6" 250 lbs. 4.90 Wilmington (Del.) Salesianum High School
Sczerba is considered a strong Virginia lean, but hasn't fully established a list of favorites or eliminated any of his nine scholarship offering schools. He has yet to visit Chapel Hill, but has contemplated a possible visit.

Recruited by: John Gutekunst

Also on Radar
NameSchool HtWt Fty
Michael Byrd Thomasville (N.C.) HS 6-5225 4.80
Neil DooganPhiladelphia (Pa.) St. Joe's Prep HS6-3225 4.90
Kevin Estes Richmond (Va.) Benedictine HS 6-6 2154.70
LaMarcus JenkinsAhoskie (N.C.) Hertford County HS 6-42355.10
Will Towery Asheville (N.C.) Reynolds HS6-6 230 5.00

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