Recruiting Analysis: Secondary

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 provides its annual position-by-position board breakdown.

Cornerback

2007 Scholarship Roster 
Left End
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
35Bryan Bethea 5-10 185Gr/Sr88
47 Quinton Person 5-11185Gr/Sr 105 (RB)
2Cooter Arnold 5-10190Jr/Jr 60
23 Jordan Hemby 5-10 190 Jr/So 29
38Jermaine Strong 5-10185 Jr/So 49
16Kendric Burney 5-9 175So/Fr48
24Tarvorris Jolly 5-11185 So/Fr NR
42Charles Brown 5-10190 Fr/Fr NR
39LaCount Fantroy 5-11175 Fr/Fr NR
25Matt Merletti 5-11185 Fr/Fr NR

Heading into preseason practice, the secondary – but more so the cornerback position – is the toughest position to gauge need.

Fifth-year seniors Bryan Bethea and Quinton Person depart following this season, but the UNC coaches see a lot of potential in the remainder of the group. The question remains: can that potential turn into production this fall?

If so, the UNC coaching staff may only seek to sign one cornerback this February. If not, they could look to land two to three corners.

Within the uncertainty is incoming freshmen Brian Gupton and Matt Merletti, who are currently listed as athletes on the roster, but either could find themselves at corner. Also, fellow freshman Charles Brown is penciled in at cornerback, but could eventually convert to another position such as receiver.

Targets With Offers 
Jeremy Brown

5'11" 155 lbs. 4.65 Orlando (Fla.) Boone High School
Recently, Brown narrowed his lengthy list of offers to four schools -- Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and UNC. He doesn't claim a leader and won't make his decision until taking official visits to each member of his final four. He has unofficially visited all four favorites, including what he described as an eye-opening trip to UNC.
Travis Howard

6'1" 170 lbs. 4.65 Miami (Fla.) Krop High School
Following his first visit to UNC, Howard couldn't help but name the Tar Heels his leader. Prior to that trip, he visited  Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Tennessee. All of the aforementioned schools have offered as well as Florida and Florida State. Howard is unsure when he'll make a verbal commitment, but could make one as early as later this month.
Charles Whitlock

5'11" 180 lbs. 4.50 Chester (S.C.) High School
As promised, Whitlock narrowed down his massive list of offers to seven schools -- Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Kentucky, UNC, and South Carolina. Furthermore, he announced that he'll take official visits to all but the two in-state schools. He's expected to decide shortly after his official visits.


Safety

2007 Scholarship Roster 
Free Safety
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
31Trimane Goddard 5-11 192Sr/Jr9 (CB)
27Deunta Williams 6-2195 So/Fr14
37Da'Norris Searcy 6-0200 Fr/Fr8 (LB)
Strong Safety
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
30Bryan Dixon 5-11205 Jr/So73 (CB)
20Shaun Draughn 6-0195 So/Fr24
28Jonathan Smith 6-2 185Fr/Fr35 (LB)

Safety isn't a huge need for UNC with the 2008 recruiting class. UNC will only graduate two safeties in the next three years – none following this season.

Additionally, incoming freshmen Da'Norris Searcy and Jonathan Smith are currently slated for safety.

Just like at cornerback, freshman "athletes" Gupton and Merletti could find a home at safety.

Regardless, the staff will probably bring in one safety prospect with the 2008 recruiting class.

Targets With Offers 
Spencer Adams

6'1" 175 lbs. 4.25 Matthews (N.C.) Butler High School
Clemson currently has a slim lead for Adams with UNC and Virginia Tech following close behind. He's also strongly considering Florida, Miami, Michigan, and NC State. All of the aforementioned schools have offered. Adams will take his official visits and go from there. A good track program will be essential.
Okechukwu Okoroha

6'0" 185 lbs. 4.60 Greenbelt (Md.) Roosevlt High School
Okoroha has approximately 20 offers and is considering each one of them. Okoroha has been trying to take a visit to UNC all summer, but has yet to do so. His plan is to verbally commit after taking all five of his official visits.

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