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Friedman on the Road: NC State, Vols, UNC ready to make a run in NC

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team


I traveled all over the state of North Carolina last week, stopping at schools to check in with big-time prospects and find some new ones. I learned a lot about the recruitment of some of the state’s biggest prospects and discovered there is plenty to come from the up-and-coming stars in the Tar Heel State. Here are three things I learned about the current recruiting landscape along with some of the recruiting updates on high profile prospects throughout the state.

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Tennessee’s message is resonating in the Tar Heel state

Clearer than any other school’s efforts in North Carolina, Tennessee has made a significant impression on prospects all over the state regardless of class.

The biggest, of course, is Rivals100 No. 1 Quavaris Crouch. It also looks like the Vols are a real threat for Rivals250 defensive linemen Savion Jackson and Joshua Harris. Tennessee is a big player for recent Duke decommit Zonovan Knight, a Rivals250 running back, and current Blue Devil commit Tony Davis.

Defensive back Shyheim Battle said he would likely take an official visit to Tennessee and Tyus Fields, another defensive back, is considered a Tennessee lean. The Vols have also made a big impression on defensive lineman Terrell Dawkins. Even underclassmen Ray Grier, a 2020 wide receiver, and Dontavius Nash, a 2021 defensive back, are very interested in Tennessee and both hold offers from the Vols.

NC State poised for a big run

The Wolfpack’s 2018 recruiting class was their best since 2014 and they are looking use last year’s on-field success to propel them to an even better result in 2019. NC State currently has the No. 43-ranked recruiting class in the Team Recruiting Rankings but there are a number of players that could end up committing to the Wolfpack, any one of which could start a domino effect.

Linebacker Drake Thomas is set to announce his commitment this Friday, June 1 and all signs point to him joining his brother in Raleigh. Rivals250 defensive lineman Savion Jackson has NC State at the top of his list or very close to it. The same goes for Rivals250 defensive lineman Joshua Harris.

NC State is a major player for Rivals250 running back Zonovan Knight, who recently decommitted from Duke. The Wolfpack are in line for an official visit from defensive back Shyheim Battle and have a very good shot at landing a commitment from J.R. Walker once he sets a decision date.

Keep an eye on defensive back Khalid Martin and defensive lineman Terrell Dawkins. Both really like N.C. State and feel like they could fit in with the program very well. Another player to watch for is defensive back Isaiah Kemp. The current Duke commit is teammates with current NC State commit Chris Toudle and the Wolfpack will surely be working to flip Kemp all the way up to Signing Day.

Tar Heels down but not out

Despite less than ideal on-field results, North Carolina has had top 30 recruiting classes every year since 2013 and a top 25 recruiting class three times in that same span. The common narrative is that the Tar Heels are struggling on the field and on the recruiting trail following an injury decimated 3-9 season. Yes, North Carolina is outside the top 50 in the team recruiting rankings, but the program should bounce back.

The Tar Heels are in the midst of a tough battles with NC State for Rivals250 defensive linemen Savion Jackson and Joshua Harris. Four-star defensive linemen C.J. Clark is very high on North Carolina, but Georgia could be tough to beat there. Recent Duke decommit Donavon Greene really likes North Carolina and listed them as one of his top contenders. Current Duke commit Tony Davis mentioned that North Carolina is pushing for him to get back on campus and defensive back Anthony Harris holds the Tar Heels in high regard.

North Carolina is also in great position for a couple of the state’s best underclassmen. Defensive back Cameron Roseman-Sinclair, a 2020 prospect, has great relationships in Chapel Hill and 2020 wide receiver Ray Grier called North Carolina his “dream school.”

More updates from Friedman's North Carolina road trip

- Quavaris Crouch, the No. 1 player in the country, updates his recruitment

- Rivals250 DE Savion Jackson reveals 3 schools that will get official visits

- Rivals250 RB Zonovan Knight talks Duke decommitment and what comes next

- WR Donavon Greene talks Duke decommitment and new contenders

- Big time DB Shyheim Battle names leader & has official visits in the works

- North Carolina DL Terrell Dawkins weighing his options

- DB Khalid Martin talks top seven & decision date

- Emerging big time 2020 WR Ray Grier talks early offers

- Recruitment begins for 2021 ATH Dontavius Nash