North Carolina

Could these top football recruits sign with UNC, NC State or Duke?

Rick Sandidge, middle, has a top-five list that includes UNC, Duke, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
Rick Sandidge, middle, has a top-five list that includes UNC, Duke, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. tdominick@thestate.com

College football’s National Signing Day, the second version, is Wednesday, and even though there was an early signing period in December for the first time ever, schools didn’t completely fill out their 2018 classes.

With the more traditional signing day coming up, more players will be signing with schools. Here is a list of unsigned players who have Duke, North Carolina or N.C. State in their final five.

Rick Sandidge, 6-5, 288, Concord

The Concord defensive tackle is a four-star recruit and one of two top-20 prospects in the state who didn’t commit or sign in December. Sandidge is the No. 6-ranked player in the state and the No. 14 defensive tackle, according to 247Sports. Sandidge’s top five includes UNC, Duke, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

Dax Hollifield, 6-2, 236, Shelby

Hollifield, an inside linebacker, is the other top 20 prospect in the Tar Heel state who didn’t make a commitment in December. Hollifield, the No. 7 prospect in North Carolina, according to 247Sports, has been getting a strong push from UNC, but Stanford appears to be the leader. Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Florida State are also in the race.

Taiyon Palmer, 6-0, 178, Lawrenceville, Ga.

Palmer, a cornerback, might be the steal of the Triangle. He originally committed to Duke, but decommitted in November, instantly picking up an offer from N.C. State. On Jan. 28, the No. 31-ranked player in Georgia announced his top three, which included N.C. State, Tennessee and Nebraska.

Mychale Salahuddin, 5-10, 193, Washington, D.C.

Salahuddin, the No. 1 player in D.C. and No. 5 all-purpose back, according to 247Sports, originally committed to USC, but decommited in December. His top three include UNC, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Either way, Salahuddin will end up in the ACC.

Jamarcus Chatman, 6-2, 258, Rome, Ga.

Chatman, a defensive tackle, is the No. 35 best player at his position. He’ll definitely be in the ACC next season, the only question is which school he’ll suit up for. Chatman recently released his top four: UNC, Miami, Florida State and Virginia Tech.

Antoine Green, 6-2, 195, Rockledge, Fla.

The battle for Green, a four-star wideout, appears to be coming down to UNC and Georgia. Green, the No. 61-ranked player in Florida, according to 247Sports, took his official visit to Chapel Hill last month, and got a home visit from the Tar Heel staff Wednesday night. The visiting group included head coach Larry Fedora, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic, passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Keith Heckendorf, tight ends coach Chad Scott and wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer.

William Barnes, 6-4, 325, Apopka, Fla.

Barnes, an offensive tackle from Apopka High School, is the 10th-ranked player in the talent-rich state of Florida, and the fifth best offensive tackle, according to 247Sports. UNC appears to be heating up in the race to land Barnes, but Florida is also in the mix.

Jonas Pope IV: 919-419-6501, @JEPopeIV

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