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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC football recruiting roundup: Tar Heels land current and former four-stars

Mack Brown spring game
UNC football coach Mack Brown observes his team during the Spring Football Game on April 13, 2019 in Kenan Stadium. The Carolina team defeated the Tar Heel team 25-10.

As new North Carolina head football coach Mack Brown prepares this August to run his first training camp at UNC since 1997, he and his staff are also looking to recruit the future Tar Heels that can fill out his rosters for years to come.

UNC’s 2020 recruiting class took a hit after four-star quarterback Malik Hornsby of Missouri City, Texas reopened his recruitment in late June. The class had been ranked eighth in the country by 247Sports at the time of Hornsby’s announcement – it now sits at No. 15.


The Tar Heels received better news earlier this month, however, when four-star defensive end Myles Murphy committed to UNC. Murphy, a Greensboro native, is ranked as the No. 4 player in the state and may be able to provide a boost to the Tar Heels’ pass rush when he arrives.

The Tar Heels have also benefited in recent months from the arrival of talent in the secondary, spurred by former Tar Heel and NFL All-Pro defensive back Dré Bly joining the UNC coaching staff in December.

On Friday, former four-star defensive back Kyler McMichael announced that he would be transferring from Clemson to North Carolina for the upcoming season. McMichael was a four-star recruit and the No. 56 player in the nation coming out of high school, and the No. 8 prospect from the state of Georgia. He is the third defensive back to transfer to UNC this offseason, joining first-year Cam’Ron Kelly, formerly an Auburn recruit, and junior Bryce Watts from Virginia Tech.

Brown’s recruiting charm proved not enough to secure the services of 2021 four-star quarterback Drake Maye, however. Neither were family ties, as Maye’s father Mark played quarterback for the Tar Heels and his brother Luke played four seasons of basketball at UNC. The youngest Maye announced last week on Twitter that he is committing to Alabama.

Still, the Tar Heels will not be short on competition for the starting quarterback job, as they still have first-year Sam Howell and redshirt first-years Jace Ruder and Cade Fortin on the roster. There is also still the possibility that Hornsby could recommit to UNC or that Maye could change his mind before signing day, so Brown’s staff can continue to work behind the scenes to add to its quarterback depth.

Brown has said since his return to North Carolina that he wants to win a national championship with the Tar Heels. That starts with building a competitive roster – and while there are always bumps in the recruiting road, how successful Brown and his staff are at bringing in top talent will likely be a key factor in the team’s success.

@JakeRichardDTH

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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