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 updates its position-by-position board breakdown.


2006 Depth Chart 
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
12Joe Dailey6-1205Sr/Jr39
11Cam Sexton6-1 190So/Fr20
23Ben Johnson*6-1190Jr/JrNR
13T.J. Yates 6-3205Fr/Fr 38
14B.J. Phillips 6-5245 Fr/Fr 76
14John Banks Powell 6-3200 Fr/Fr NR

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 into the postseason. 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
32Barrington Edwards6-0220Sr/Jr5
21Justin Warren 6-1 198Jr/Jr NR
26Richie Rich5-9190So/Fr34
37Johnny White5-10190Fr/Fr41
6Anthony Elzy 5-10 210Fr/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 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 245So/SoNR
18Joey Bozich 6-2 250Jr/SoNR
4 Bobby Rome 5-11240 So/Fr NR
48Michael Briggs* 6-0250Jr/SoNR
41 Jock Moore* 6-0280Jr/Jr NR
33 Daryl Porter* 5-9241So/So NR

The Tar Heels are confident with where they stand at fullback. With Starcevic expected to hold down the starting spot through 2008, Bozich moving over, 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 210Sr/Sr 22
1Brooks Foster 6-3 200Jr/So 59
87 Brandon Tate 6-1190 So/So NR
88 Hakeem Nicks 6-1210 Fr/Fr 33
3 Kenton Thornton 6-4225 So/Fr 37
82 Dirk Engram 5-10170 So/Fr 84
29 Deunta Williams 6-2195 Fr/Fr 14(S)
15 Anthony Parker-Boyd 6-0195 Fr/Fr NR
8 Justin Henderson* 5-11200 Jr/Jr NR
19Will Lawing* 5-9 175Jr/Jr NR
27Christopher Barnes* 5-11 170Jr/Jr NR
30David Andreoli* 6-1 185Fr/Fr NR

With the loss of five letterwinning wide receivers last season, and Holley graduating after this season, quality and quantity is needed at this position.

The staff hopes to add two or three 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 the two others that they've offered.

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 NC 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
Barnes is down to two finalists -- UNC and South Carolina. He has been on the verge of making a verbal commitment for over a month now.

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
Recently, Little narrowed down his list of 50-plus scholarship offers to Miami, UNC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Duke, Wake Forest, Florida, Oregon, and Southern Cal. Little is a frequent visitor to the Chapel Hill campus, but isn't expected to officially visit UNC. 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

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
Antonio Ferguson Burlington (N.C.) Cummings HS 6-4 2054.65
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 255Sr/Sr35
89Richard Quinn 6-4 235Jr/So 58
81Rock Wells* 6-4250Sr/Jr NR
84 Vince Jacobs 6-6225 Fr/Fr 28
49 Ryan Taylor 6-3220 Fr/Fr 46
80Ed Barham 6-3 260Fr/Fr 73
83 Trevor Stuart 6-3230 Fr/Fr NR
47 Fleming Thompson* 6-3210 So/So NR

Although starting tight end Jon Hamlett graduates after the 2006 season, a quartet of tight ends were brought in with last year's recruiting class. With the goal of signing a tight end in every class, the UNC coaching staff is in the running for two big-time prospects at the position. They'd like to sign one, but certainly wouldn't turn away either of the two with offers.

Targets With Offers
Rob Gronkowski

6'6" 235 lbs. 4.75 Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills High School
Gronkowski, who holds 20-plus scholarship offers, is strongly considering six schools -- Arizona, Clemson, Maryland, UNC, Ohio State, and Syracuse. He has already unofficially visited all six and plans to attend a game at each school this fall. He hopes to make a verbal commitment after his senior season concludes.

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 had claimed UNC as his leader, but recently opened things up. Currently, he has his eyes on Clemson, UNC, Penn State, South Carolina, and Wake Forest. 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

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
Daniel Parker Wheaton (Md.) Our Lady Good Counsel HS 6-5 230 4.60
Will Towery Asheville (N.C.) Reynolds HS6-6 230 5.00

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