Posted by Bryan Fischer
There might not be a more interesting recruiting situation in the country than at the University of North Carolina. Their head coach was fired before the season - but after ACC Media Day. The program is in the middle of putting together their response to a set of serious allegations from the NCAA and, by the way, they're still facing a rebuilding job from a pure numbers standpoint because they've had so many players declared ineligible or leave to the NFL draft.
It's going to be a tough road to Signing Day for interim head coach Everett Withers. Not only must he continue to keep the current 12 players in the Tar Heels' recruiting class committed but he'll have to deal with plenty of negative recruiting out on the road. Unlike a USC, Miami or Ohio State that can sell players on their history and tradition of sending players to the NFL when times are tough, North Carolina isn't an elite school when it comes to that. Given the fact that there is so much uncertainty surrounding possible - and by possible we mean likely - NCAA sanctions, it's going to be difficult for the school to land high end talent.
That's not to say they can put together a solid class however. UNC is well known for its academics and Chapel Hill is a great college town. There's a good deal of talent in the Carolinas and nearby states such as Virginia and Tennessee. There's some solid players already committed at the moment, such as offensive lineman J.J. Patterson, tight end Justin Meredith and quarterback Patton Robinette. If they can build around that group, possibly target a few speedsters on either side of the ball and evaluate others well, there's no question the program can make it through this year before learning how handcuffed they'll be going forward.
Butch Davis, John Blake and the school administration have put the Tar Heels football program in a tough spot. They certainly can dig out of it with good effort but it will be an uncertain road until Signing Day and beyond.