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

2008 Scholarship Roster 
Left End
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
23 Jordan Hemby 5-10 185 Sr/Jr 29
26Richie Rich 5-9195 Sr/Jr 34 (RB)
16Kendric Burney 5-9 180Jr/So48
24Tavorris Jolly 5-11180 Jr/So NR
34Johnny White 5-10205 Jr/So 41 (RB)
12Charles Brown 5-10190 So/So NR
37LaCount Fantroy 5-11195 So/Fr NR
29Brian Gupton 6-3190 So/Fr NR

UNC graduated two cornerbacks (Bryan Bethea and Quinton Person) after last season, lost Jermaine Strong to off-the-field issues, and moved Cooter Arnold to wide receiver in the spring.

Furthermore, UNC didn't sign a single true cornerback prospect with the 2008 recruiting class.

Converting tailbacks Johnny White and Richie Rich helped the position's depth, but doesn't ultimately solve the problem.

UNC needs to improve the talent level at this point. Half of the cornerbacks found on the scholarship depth chart were unranked out of high school. Two of the ranked, played tailback from much of their college careers.

UNC already secured verbal commitments from D.J. Bunn and Taylor Sowell, but will still pursue several cornerback prospects. The staff could sign as many as four total cornerbacks, if the right ones come its way.

D.J. Bunn
5'11" 187 lbs. 4.49
Smithfield (N.C.) Smithfield-Selma High School


A week after being extended a UNC offer, Bunn attended the Tar Heels' Junior Day in February and was among the wave of verbal commitments UNC received that day.

Bunn could play several different positions on the collegiate level, but projects best in the defensive secondary. He will arrive at UNC as a cornerback, but could eventually play safety.

Bunn has good speed and range, but is raw in man coverage. On the combine scene, he showed his competitiveness and heart by participating in several combines with a minor hamstring injury.

At Smithfield-Selma, Bunn starts at both safety and wingback. He collected over 1,100 all-purpose yards and 15 all-purpose touchdowns as a junior. He also had 110 tackles and four interceptions from his in-the-box safety position.

Taylor Sowell
6'0" 175 lbs. 4.45
Roebuck (S.C) Dorman High School


Around last Signing Day, Sowell received offers from Georgia Tech, UNC, Virginia, and West Virginia. A couple of weeks later, he pledged to UNC, becoming the second member of the Tar Heels' verbal commitment list.

In June, Miami offered Sowell and reports began to surface that he was considering the Hurricanes. However, he informed Inside Carolina that his commitment to UNC has not wavered.

Sowell is a zone cornerback that loves to be physical. He does a great job of jamming the receiver off the line and disrupting his timing. He is great in run support and enjoys laying a hit on the ball carrier.

As a junior, Sowell intercepted six passes and broke-up seven others. He also recorded 40 tackles.



Targets With Offers 
Byron Best
5'9" 180 lbs. 4.37 Greenwood (S.C.) High School
Best busted onto the scene with his 4.37-second 40-yard dash run at Scout.com's Combine, which is notoriously known for its slow times. Shortly thereafter, UNC offered and thus far has been the only school to do so. Although impressed by a UNC visit, Best plans to wait out the process and make a decision after his football season -- likely with with more options to choose from. In addition to UNC, he is considering Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Ohio State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Kemal Ishmael
5'11" 175 lbs. 4.45 North Miami Beach (Fla.) High School
John Blake discovered Ishmael during the Evaluation Period and quickly offered. Although Ishmael went on to add offers from Auburn, FIU, Mississippi State, and Western Michigan, he still lacks heavy media attention. Recruiting has been an afterthought and thus he has  made very few visits. He favors Auburn, UNC, USF, and Western Michigan.
Mywan Jackson

5'11" 170 lbs. 4.50 Seffner (Fla.) Armwood High School
Jackson, who has collected just under 20 offers, currently favors Auburn, Illinois, Louisville, Michigan, UNC and West Virginia. Jackson and his teammates will take their first trip to UNC this weekend. He plays quarterback at Armwood, but will play either receiver or cornerback in college. UNC is recruiting him as an athlete with an emphasis on cornerback.
Gabe Lynn

6'0" 179 lbs. 4.53 Jenks (Okla.) High School
After visiting LSU on July 21st -- and maybe Texas -- Lynn will announce his final five. UNC is nearly a lock to make the cut as the coaching staff blew him away when he camped at UNC in June. That was the second visit Lynn made to UNC. Lynn is close to John Blake, who recruited his brother to Nebraska. Lynn has also visited Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.
Brandon McGee

5'11" 186 lbs. 4.57 Plantation (Fla.) High School
McGee will announce his collegiate decision on August 11th. He will choose from his final five: Florida State, Miami, UNC, Ohio State, and Tennessee. He visited UNC in mid-June and left "impressed." He will graduate from high school in December and enroll at his selected school in January.
Gene Robinson

5'10" 163 lbs. 4.53 Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven High School
Robinson crowned Alabama his leader after recently visiting the campus. After 'Bama, he said he is considering all of the schools that have offered equally. His recruitment started off slow, but really picked up during the Evaluation Period. UNC was among the late spring offers. He has already penciled in Alabama, Colorado, and UNC for official visits. 
Terry Shankle

5'11" 170 lbs. 4.68 Norwood (N.C.) South Stanly High School
Recently, Shankle narrowed his lengthy list of offers to five schools: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, UNC, and NC State. He plans on making a verbal commitment before the end of the summer. Shankle is more of an athlete prospect that is being projected to cornerback by UNC; thus he could end up playing several position in college. He visited UNC during its camp, attended the junior day, and plans to drop by this coming weekend, also.
Kayvon Webster

5'11" 181 lbs. 4.50 Miami (Fla.) Pace High School
Webster, who holds 16 offers, received his first offer in February but had to wait until late spring to collect his next 15. He is another prospect John Blake discovered during the Evaluation Period and subsequently offered. The recent lack of attention from UNC has them falling out of favor. His claims South Carolina and USF as his co-leaders.


Safety

2008 Scholarship Roster 
Free Safety
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
10Melvin Williams 6-0 205Jr/JrNR
27Deunta Williams 6-2195 Jr/So14
28Jonathan Smith 6-2 200So/So35 (LB)
Strong Safety
# Name Ht Wt Cl/El Rk
31Trimane Goddard 5-11195 Gr/Sr9 (CB)
20Shaun Draughn 6-0205 Jr/So 24
21Da'Norris Searcy 6-0200 So/So 8 (LB)
25Matt Merletti 5-11185 So/So NR
35Herman Davidson 6-2215 Fr/Fr19

Although Trimane Goddard will depart following the season, UNC's safety roster is in good shape.

UNC would only sign an elite safety prospect. Furthermore, most of the safety prospects on the board have the ability to play cornerback.

Targets With Offers 
Angelo Hadley

5'11" 190 lbs. 4.50 Seffner (Fla.) Armwood High School
Hadley, who has received close to 20 offers, says he hasn't eliminated anyone, but really likes Alabama, Auburn,  Georgia, UNC, and USF. This weekend he and his teammates will make their first visit to UNC. Hadley would like to play his college ball out-of-state.
D.J. Swearinger
5'11" 191 lbs. 4.69 Greenwood (S.C.) High School
UNC shot into Swearinger's top two after he visited Chapel Hill in June. However, UNC is trailing Tennessee, which is believed to have a strong hold on Swearinger. He won't make his collegiate decision until after taking his official visits. He has penciled in Michigan, UNC, and Tennessee for three of those five slots.

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