Since being named UNC’s head football coach in December of 2011, Larry Fedora has made it a priority to keep the top in-state recruits within North Carolina borders. Running backs T.J. Logan and Elijah Hood were among the first high-end prospects in the state who were lured to Chapel Hill by Fedora, and the trend has continued with the 2015 class.
So far, the Tar Heels have garnered five commitments from consensus top-20 players in their state, which is three more than any other school in the country. Of the six FBS programs in North Carolina, no other school has a commitment from that top-20 group.
Juval Mollette, a receiver from Randleman, N.C., was one of the most notable prospects to join the Heels’ 2015 class. According to 247Sports.com, Mollette passed on offers from Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and many others when he gave UNC his pledge on June 21. The Tigers were his other finalist.
The Tar Heels also made a splash back in the spring when they landed Mason Veal, an offensive tackle from Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, N.C. At 6-6, 285 pounds, Veal already has the frame necessary to compete at the college level.
In addition to the current commitments, North Carolina is also in the hunt for two defensive line prospects who are being pursued by programs all over the country. Shy Tuttle of Lexington, N.C., who is widely regarded as the No. 1 prospect in the state, is a defensive tackle who is being targeted by Fedora, and West Forsyth High School defensive end Jalen Dalton is considering the Heels as well as some of the top teams in the country.
With signing day still over seven months away, a lot can change on the recruiting trail. At this point in the year, however, Fedora has UNC in the driver’s seat for recruiting in North Carolina.