North Carolina faces possible NCAA sanctions in the wake of an athletic and academic scandal, but a national recruiting expert doesn’t see signs of its current football recruits switching their commitment.
Michael Clark, a football recruiting analyst for scout.com, said he doesn’t know if potential NCAA sanctions will have much of an effect on the committed players.
“I haven’t heard of any recruits wavering in their commitment,” Clark said. “I think the NCAA needs to let North Carolina know something as soon as possible. I’m sure other schools will bring up the possibility of NCAA sanctions to recruits, but that’s all just speculation until the NCAA decides what or if they’re going to do anything.”
North Carolina has 14 known commitments from the Class of 2015, including six players who ranked by scout.com as four stars, the next to the highest category.
Never miss a local story.
The Tar Heels’ class is ranked No. 23 in the country and No. 4 in the ACC (behind Florida State, Clemson and Miami), by scout.com.
Clark said he expects recruiters from other schools to talk about the potential ramifications if the NCAA adds more sanctions.
“Unfortunately, negative recruiting does go on,” Clark said. “I’d be naive to think that other schools won’t use the situation to their advantage. But that goes on all of the time anyway. There is negative recruiting whether there is a basis of fact or not.”
None of the commitments are binding. The committed players can change their minds, and their commitments, for any reason until signing a national letter of intent during February or enrolling in school.
North Carolina’s four-star commitments are Sumter (S.C.) Crestwood runner Ty-Son Williams (6-foot-1, 202 pounds); Swansea, S.C., linebacker Johnathan Sutton (6-1, 218); Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph center Tommy Hatton (6-2, 278); Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge defensive tackle Aaron Crawford (6-2, 300); Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast offensive tackle William Sweet (6-7, 275); and Matthews Butler quarterback Anthony Ratliff-Williams (6-2, 185).
Area stars: Four of the 10 players in North Carolina rated as four-star prospects by scout.com play at area high schools. Three are uncommitted and the fourth, Princeton’s Johnny Frasier, is committed to Florida State, but he is taking official visits to other schools.
Frasier visited Florida last week for its game against Louisiana State and told Mike Clark of scout.com that he is more interested in the Gators now, but he still is a solid Florida State commitment. He also has made an official visit to Tennessee. Clark expects him to take official visits to LSU and Alabama and maybe to South Carolina.
“Johnny, like every other committed player, can change his mind right up until signing day,” Clark said. “Florida State knows that he is visiting other schools and Johnny knows Florida State is recruiting other running backs.
“He is making sure that he is making the best decision for him, which is what every recruited player needs to do.”
The other three top area players – Garner running back Nyheim Hines, Durham Hillside offensive tackle Emanuel McGirt and Wake Forest running back Bryce Love – are narrowing their lists.
“I don’t know if many people in the area realize how good Johnny, Nyheim and Bryce are,” Clark said. “Johnny arguably is the best running back prospect in the country and Nyheim and Bryce are right there with him.”
It is amazing to have all three at one time.
Big Wolfpack get: Darian Roseboro, a 6-3, 283-pound defensive lineman (and running back) at Lincolnton High, announced his commitment to N.C. State.
He initially committed to Michigan, but Roseboro withdrew because Wolverines coach Brady Hoke might not return next season.
“That was his concern,” said Lincolnton coach Scott Cloninger. “The uncertainty. He wants to play for the coach that recruits him. Michigan is a long way from home if you don’t know the coaching staff.”
Roseboro is a four-year starter at Lincolnton and has trimmed down from about 290 pounds.
Cloninger praised Roseboro’s use of his hands, his speed and his power. He isn’t a nifty runner, but he has out-run some secondaries. He scored four touchdowns and rushed for 124 yards in Friday’s 51-8 victory over Newton-Conover.
“He loves the weight room,” Cloninger said. “Any time the weight room was open this summer, he was here.”