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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels in the Preps: UNC football recruits excel under the Friday night lights

UNC football recruit Chris Culliver (2), pictured, is currently a senior wide receiver and cornerback at Maiden High School in Maiden, N.C. Photo Courtesy of Caine Houser/Maiden High School Athletics.

In addition to action that takes place in the college game at Kenan Stadium, high school football season is well underway in programs across the country.

The Tar Heels will be bringing in many promising commits on both sides of the ball for the 2023-2024 season. Here is a brief recap of how some of these recruits have performed for their high schools so far this season.

Rico Walker

Giving up points has been a concern for UNC the past several years, and one of the best ways to remedy this is to recruit defense. 

When it comes to disrupting the backfield, edge rusher Rico Walker could be exactly what the team is looking for.

The Hickory High School edge rusher has had a solid start to his season, racking up 15 total tackles – eight solo and seven assisted – in the three games he has played. He has not recorded a sack yet this season, but does have two disruptive plays to his credit with a forced fumble and blocked punt. His team sits at 3-2 on the year and looks to improve that record as it heads into conference play for the rest of the season.

Christian Hamilton

Hamilton is putting together a stellar start to his senior season at Hickory Ridge. In six games, the senior wide receiver has reeled the ball in 23 times for 406 yards and five touchdowns. 

His averages an eye-popping 17.7 yards per catch, making him an air threat that defenses must account for. Hamilton also returns kicks and punts, which shows off the versatility the Tar Heels might look to utilize on special teams.

Chris Culliver

Another standout wide receiver, Culliver has put together 25 catches for an impressive 654 yards and nine touchdowns in five games played this season. He averages 130.8 receiving yards per game as the top wide receiver at Maiden High School.

One of the more intriguing bits about Culliver, however, is that he does not just play receiver. The senior also takes snaps at cornerback, already having recorded four interceptions and eight total tackles. 

Kaleb Cost

Cost is a cornerback hailing from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga. He has recorded 14 tackles and two pass breakups in six games played this season. While he has yet to intercept a pass, he notched three picks last year, so that area could be something to watch down the stretch.

Cost is another multi-position player, taking snaps at wide receiver in addition to corner. So far, he has pulled in 13 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns. In addition, he helps out on special teams, having returned twelve kicks this season. His team has also enjoyed success, sitting at 5-1 so far this year.

Tad Hudson

Hudson is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback that has led Hough High School in Cornelius, N.C. to a 4-1 record. Hudson may have to wait some time for a potential spot in the limelight for the Tar Heels, but his play this season suggests he'll be a valuable addition to the depth chart upon arrival in Chapel Hill. 

In the five games he has played, Hudson has thrown for 1,006 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions, with a 66 percent completion percentage. Hudson has also used his legs this season, carrying the ball 20 times for a total of 58 yards and three touchdowns.


@dthsports |

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