Jalen Dalton, 4-star defensive end, commits to UNC

It hasn't been the most uplifting of college football seasons for North Carolina. So much so that this is among the brightest spots of the fall: The Tar Heels on Thursday received a commitment from Jalen Dalton, the defensive end from West Forsyth High.

Dalton is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, which ranks him the No. 3 prospect in North Carolina. His commitment gives UNC commitments from three of the top 10 prospects in the state, according to Rivals.

In addition to Dalton, UNC also has commitments from Mason Veal, an offensive lineman from Charlotte, and Juval Mollette, the receiver from Randleman. Veal is the No. 6 prospect in the state, according to Rivals, and Mollette is No. 8.

Dalton, meanwhile, chose UNC over a long list of offers, including ones from Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida State. Securing a commitment from a player like Dalton would be important in any recruiting class but it's especially important now, given the Tar Heels' defensive woes.

Andrew Carter is the UNC athletics beat reporter for The News & Observer and Charlotte Observer. Follow him on Twitter at @_andrewcarter .