UNC football is nearly advancing to the 2023 class.
While the Tar Heels are still targeting a few high school students and porting portal players for 2022, they focused most of their January recruiting efforts on the current junior high school class.
UNC has extended 47 offers in the class of 2023, per 247Sports, and has made one verbal commitment so far in four-star Hough quarterback Tad Hudson. Earlier this month, Coach Mack Brown’s program also hosted a group of newer recruiting targets and their families on campus for the first junior day of UNC’s cycle.
Here’s what you need to know about five intriguing UNC recruits who attended that event.
Edge rusher Desmond Umeozulu, Charles Herbert Flowers (Md.)
Playing in the ultra-competitive DMV territory, Umeozulu established himself as one of the country’s better defensive goals last fall. The all-county first-team honors ended his junior season with more than ten offers in Division I (including UNC in October), and he’s added Ohio State, USC, and Michigan this month, among others.
Umeozulu ranks as a four-star recruit and the No. 25 edge rusher in the class, according to the 247Sports composite. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Maryland defenseman had already visited Chapel Hill for camp last summer, and his recent weekend on campus has “solidify (d) UNC as a favorite,” according to InsideCarolina. .
LB Tony Rojas, Fairfax (Va.)
Rojas’ 1,700 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns earned him the Junior Regional Offensive Player of the Year title, but it’s his defensive acumen — 50 tackles, 10 loss tackles and seven sacks last year — that have been seen in several Division I programs. has drawn. The 6-3,200-pound athlete has nearly 20 offers to date.
UNC offered Rojas in October, and he spent an “amazing” visit to Junior Day chatting with the likes of coach Tommy Thigpen and tight-ends coach John Lilly. Rojas, who averages 19.2 points per game on the basketball court this season, also visited Virginia Tech and Penn State for games last fall.
Edge rusher Daevin Hobbs, Robinson (Concord)
The next time recruiting websites update their 2023 rankings, Hobbs is projecting to be one of the biggest risers in North Carolina. He took 50 tackles, 10.5 sacks and three forced fumbles off the rim last year while using his size (6-6 and 240 pounds) to shine at the tight end as well, with 621 yards and nine touchdowns.
Also a standout basketball player averaging 16.1 points per game, Hobbs has offers from App State, Coastal Carolina and ECU, among others, and his Power Five interests include UNC and Tennessee. Hobbs made two unofficial visits to the volunteers last fall (who have successfully recruited North Carolina for the past few seasons).
DL Terry Simmons, Calvary Day School (Ga.)
A three-star recruit per Rivals, Simmons gained interest in Division I during his junior season (Central Michigan, Georgia Southern, Florida Atlantic) and earned his first Power Five offer from Northwestern in January. He has since taken unofficials to UNC and Duke and communicated with Clemson’s staff.
He can attribute that jump in interest to his productivity in 2021. In 13 games last fall, Simmons registered a total of 67 tackles, 19 tackles for losses, 12 quarterback rushes, four pass deflections and three sacks — solid numbers for a 6-2 , 305-pound interior lineman. As with Hobbs, UNC has not yet offered Simmons.
W.R. Isaiah Crumpler, J.H. Rose (Greenville)
Among UNC’s junior day visitors were a few high school sophomores, including five-star quarterback Jayden Davis, 247Sports’ No. 1 recruit who recently transitioned to Charlotte’s Providence Day School, and Crumpler, a 6-1 receiver who JH Rose helped. reached the 3A title game last fall.
Crumpler, who is on an ECU offer, caught 40 passes for 874 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021, while contributing 85 tackles and three defensive touchdowns. He also excelled as a kick returner and a point returner while picking up NC State interest. He is a name worth pursuing among NC sophomores.
Chapel Fowler is a recruiting reporter for The Fayetteville Observer and the USA TODAY Network. Reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @chapelfowler.