Monday, January 11, 2010

Army game becomes Tar Heels' 'Black Saturday'

Of the ten players who picked Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio to announce their football commitments on national TV, two had North Carolina in their final three and two more in their final four.

The announcements were made with the player surrounded by family and standing behind the caps of his finalists, then picking up the chosen school’s hat and placing it on his head—or that of his mother, if he were so inclined.

None of those four Tar Heels’ caps was ever touched, except perhaps later to be dropped in a prop bag.

And what could have been a huge day for UNC’s so-far disappointing Class of 2010 wound up being a nonentity, with no commitments.

The most painful loss was that of Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes DE Brandon Willis, a consensus Top 100 player. Posters and emails assured me all week that Willis, who had recently decommitted from Tennessee, was now committed, sealed and delivered for the Tar Heels.

Uh, no. He grabbed the Volunteers’ hat instead.

Three other very good players also got away. DT Sharrif Floyd of Philadelphia, possibly the best DT in the country, picked Florida over Ohio State, UNC and South Carolina. CB Victor Hampton—you remember, the guy who was kicked off Independence’s team last summer and wound up at Darlington (S.C.) High—picked South Carolina over Tennessee and North Carolina. And Cleveland athlete Latwan Anderson selected West Virginia over Ohio State, Miami and the Tar Heels.

The Tar Heels are running out of options, but things can always change at any point before the Feb. 3 National Signing Day. This weekend is important, as the Tar Heels have five players visiting.

Inside Carolina.com had that total listed as six a few minutes ago, but one of those was DE Tavaris Barnes, who committed to Clemson Sunday night after his weekend visit and said he will not visit Chapel Hill.

UNC coach Butch Davis has a reputation as a recruiting closer. Time to put that in gear.

--Stan Olson

Got recruiting news? Pop it to me at solson@charlotteobserver.com.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those boys must be crazy for turning down a chance to play for the soon to be National Champion Tarheels! No way those schools pay more to play than Coach Davis can. Their loss!

jrguyiii said...

What an asinine comment. Coach Davis has never gotten into trouble with the NCAA. He is and always has run a clean program; he even cleaned up the mess at Miami, and that was quite a chore! Don't make ignorant statements without facts to back up your point. If anyone should be looked into for recruiting violations, it should be Mr. Kiffen over in Knoxville!

Steven said...

Regardless of the poster's lack of facts, the point remais that UNC has had a less than "Butch" year in recruiting.

Anonymous said...

JRguyiii, who is Mr. Kiffen?

Anonymous said...

Wow, how things quickly change. Willis is now a Tar Heel. This is another example of why people should wait until NSD to draw any conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Stan I have a question for you why is it everytime you mention Victor Hampton you state the kid who was kicked off in your intorduction...it sounds soooo personal...I am sure there is something you have done in your sad life that you are not proud of and would not not like to be addressed in that manner everytime someone spoke of you...I have seen your picture and could say for example Stan you know that funny looking man that is stuck writing blogs due to his inability to write says once again that he has chosen the top recruits..... you know Stan that funny looking man who is stuck to writing blogs also said that Bell would be a starter at unc.....you know Stan that funny looking man who doesn't have to talent to write real articles, left to the blogs also reported this and that....IT is immature and shows your lack of credibility...The next time you write about him, be professional and address him by his name....