The Wire

Mid-week musings include: A detailed account of how former North Carolina commit Everett Golson's commitment unfolded, comments from former Notre Dame commit Elijah Hood on "returning" to South Bend this weekend, and North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora's thoughts on Notre Dame's defense

Carolina on my mind

Irish Eyes spoke with Inside Carolina college football recruiting analyst, Don Callahan, who closely covered the recruitment of quarterback Everett Golson, one-time UNC commit:

Q: How did Golson, who hails from Myrtle Beach (S.C.) High (class of 201o), become interested in North Carolina? Callahan: “Golson grew up a UNC basketball fan, and that was his main attraction to North Carolina. I think it was the Friday after the signing day of the class before him that his head coach called a press conference at his school. (He) Golson didn’t make it a secret which school he was favoring. I think there was only one hat on the table. That’s when he committed to UNC. Actually, he and Marquise Williams were in the same class. Williams committed to North Carolina that summer. North Carolina wanted quarterbacks badly.”

Q: How did Notre Dame enter the picture?

Callahan: “It was right around the time that North Carolina football came under investigation. I was told there was an assistant coach on his high school staff who basically said told him that Notre Dame was a better fit. At that time, North Carolina was running a pro-style offense and Notre Dame was running the offense that they are now.”

“Golson took an official visit to Notre Dame that fall (Nov. 13 when Notre Dame defeated No. 15 Utah 28-3), and then it took off from there. (Golson decommitted from North Carolina and subsequently committed to Notre Dame two weeks later.) He was going to be an early enrollee… His team made it to the state championship, which made it hard for him to find time to take official visits. North Carolina tried to get him to take an official visit after he had pretty much decided on Notre Dame, but there wasn’t a weekend that worked. He played in the state championship, then the Shrine Bowl was a week later, and then the dead period hit.”

Q: Matthias Farley is also a guy that North Carolina wanted. How did his recruitment unfold?

Callahan: “Farley was playing both ways (receiver and defensive back) for Charlotte Christian. Notre Dame took him as a wide receiver. North Carolina didn’t show a lot of interest until late, and he was already committed to Notre Dame. Plus, UNC wanted to move him to defensive back, and Farley wasn’t open to that idea.”

Current Notre Dame players hailing from North Carolina:

Sr. DB Matthias Farley
Sr. TE Ben Councell
Jr. OL Mark Harrell
Soph. DL Romeo Okwara
GS. LB Kendall Moore
Jr. LS Hunter Smith (walk-on)
Fr. LB Greer Martini regional (North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia) recruiting analyst Michael Clark on the recruitments of the aforementioned players on scholarship:

“All were very highly sought after prospects and all had double-digit offers. That obviously says a lot about Notre Dame to be able to come down there and grab guys like that. With upcoming classes, there were questions as to if Notre Dame was going to be able to sustain success after the defeat in the national championship by Alabama. Here they are, back in the top five.”

In the 2015 class, not much on the recruiting trail in North Carolina, or South Carolina for that matter, has gained traction. Of note, Notre Dame extended offers to four-star running back Johnny Frasier (undecided), four-star running back Nyheim Hines (undecided), four-star defensive tackle Shy Tuttle (Tennessee commit), four-star defensive tackle Darian Roseboro (undecided, former Michigan commit), four-star defensive tackle Sterling Johnson (Clemson commit), three-star cornerback Mook Reynolds (Virginia Tech commit, who still may take an official visit to Notre Dame).

In the 2016 class, currently four prospects from North Carolina stick out to Clark as targets for Notre Dame going forward:

4-star RB Antonio Williams (New London, N.C. North Stanly)
4-star RB Robert Washington (Huntersville, N.C., Southlake Christian)
4-star DT Dexter Lawrence (Wake Forest, N.C. High)
3-star DE Zach Gilbert (Charlotte, N.C., South Meck) – No offer

Comments from the other head coach

North Carolina head coach, Larry Fedora --

On Notre Dame’s defense:

“They’re big. They can run on the back end. Not that they can’t run on front end, but they can really run on the back end. No. 9, their WILL linebacker is really a good football player. They’re really big up front. They’re 300 plus across the front, and they’re strong. We’ll have our work cut out for us up there.”

“Overall, (it’s) probably the best that we faced so far. Clemson & (Virginia Tech) are two pretty dang good defenses."

On playing a team with so much history:

“I’d rather go up there and try to make some.”

On his thoughts regarding Notre Dame’s contract with the ACC:

“I thought it was great for the league. It gives the league that much more strength and a national reputation. I think it’s good all the way around. For them and us.”

On if he’ll use (playing) Notre Dame as part of the ACC contract as a recruiting tool:

“Sure, yeah, no doubt about it.”

On if he thinks it would be better if Notre Dame joined the league completely:

“That’s up to them. I don’t have an opinion on that.”

North Carolina QB, Marquise Williams

On playing against Notre Dame, a team that recruited him:

“South Bend is a great place. People are very nice to you. It will be very exciting to go back down there. I was there for a game against Michigan, so it was kind of live. It gives you chills to walk into that stadium and see so many fans. As a college football player, you dream of going to play at Notre Dame and in South Bend.”

On Notre Dame’s defense:

“Those guys are unbelievable. They’re physical and fast. I don’t take anything for granted going against their defense.”

North Carolina RB, Elijah Hood

On if he’s been keeping up with Notre Dame this season:

“I don’t really keep up with them like that, but I watch ESPN and you can see the results of their games. They’re having a pretty good year, so it should be fun to go see how good they really are.”

On if he wonders what it would have been like had he attended Notre Dame:

“Not really. I’m kind of too busy to be thinking about that kind of stuff, in terms of school work, football and focusing on beating them, so I can’t really worry about that stuff. “

Interviews courtesy of

On Notre Dame’s schedule

Rice defeated Hawaii 28-14
Michigan lost to Rutgers 26-24
Purdue defeated Iowa 38-27
Syracuse lost to Louisville 28-6
North Carolina lost to Virginia Tech 34-17
No. 1 Florida State defeated Wake Forest 43-3
Navy lost to Air Force 31-20
No. 20 Arizona State defeated USC 28-34
Northwestern defeated Wisconsin 20-14
Louisville defeated Syracuse 28-6
USC lost to Arizona State 38-34 Top Stories