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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels in the preps: Several players highlight Mack Brown’s 2022 recruiting class


Travis Shaw (2) runs downfield at a football game at Grimsley High School in Greensboro. Photo courtesy of Maury Kennedy. 

While the North Carolina football team is in the midst of its highly anticipated season, the future of the Tar Heels continues to be shaped and assembled by the coaching staff.

The Tar Heels currently have 14 total commits for the 2022 recruitment class which includes one five-star, eight four-stars and five three-stars. As a result, UNC currently has the No. 13 class in the 247Sports rankings. 

Here are three players expected to make contributions in Chapel Hill in the near future.

Travis Shaw

Shaw is a senior defensive lineman at Grimsley High School in Greensboro, North Carolina. Shaw, who received 28 offers before committing to the Tar Heels, comes in at an eye-catching 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds.

On the 247Sports composite ratings, Shaw was given a 0.9972 rating (out of 1.0000) solidifying his status as a five-star prospect — the only one in UNC's 2022 class thus far. He is No. 4 among national recruits, No. 2 among defensive linemen and No. 1 among North Carolina high school players, according to 247Sports composite rankings. 

He was recruited primarily by defensive line coach Tim Cross and secondarily by wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway. Shaw made his official verbal commitment on Aug. 21.

In his first three years at Grimsley, Shaw has played a total of 35 games and has recorded 240 tackles, 57 tackles for loss and 17 sacks.

In addition to football, Shaw also plays basketball where he averaged 6.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals per game during his junior season. Chris Singletary, a national recruiting expert, also believes Shaw has a chance of being a first round pick in the NFL draft and his NFL comparison of Shaw is Akiem Hicks, a defensive end for the Chicago Bears.

Omarion Hampton

Hampton is a senior running back at Cleveland High School in Clayton, North Carolina. Hampton, who received 22 offers before committing to the Tar Heels, comes in at 6 feet and 215 pounds.

Hampton was given a 0.9419 rating on 247Sports and is listed as a four-star recruit. He is the nation's No. 13 running back in his class and is the third-highest rated North Carolina high school player. Larry Porter, UNC's running backs coach, was his primary recruiter. 

Hampton was selected to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl and he made his official verbal commitment to UNC on July 22.

During his tenure at Cleveland, Hampton has played a total of 35 games and has recorded 402 carries, 4,177 rushing yards, 65 rushing touchdowns and has also chipped in 20 receptions, 330 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns.

Hampton also ran on the track and field team at his high school where he ran a 11.54 100-meter and a 23.54 200-meter during his first year.

Conner Harrell

Harrell is a senior quarterback at Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama. Harrell, who received a whopping 31 offers before committing to the Tar Heels, stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 189 pounds.

Harrell is a three-star recruit who received a 0.8647 rating on 247Sports and ranks No. 43 in the nation at his position. He was primarily recruited by Phil Longo who is UNC's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Hampton made his official verbal commitment to the Tar Heels all the way back on July 4.

With the time allotted to him at Thompson High School, Harrell has played a total of 23 games and has recorded 397 pass attempts, 290 completed passes, 4,762 passing yards, 61 passing touchdowns and has only thrown four interceptions. He has also shown an ability to make plays with his feet, with 409 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.

During his junior year, Harrell led his team to an undefeated season and Alabama 7A state championship.

As UNC continues to reload its roster during head coach Mack Brown's second stint in Chapel Hill, these three players — along with the rest of the highly-touted recruits — seem to indicate the program has bright days ahead.

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