North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams got off to the fastest start of any college coach in the nation with the 2013 class securing commitments from power forward Isiah Hicks and point guard Nate Britt very early in the process. Then things slowed down, way, way down and UNC fans everywhere have been clamoring for some positive news on the recruiting front ever since.
While the Heels have not secured any other commitments just yet, this week has been a very good one for Carolina faithful. The week kicked off with the new #1 prospect in the 2013 class and UNCs top priority power forward Julius Randle’s in-home visit. To say Roy’s visit with Randle was a home run wouldn’t do it nearly enough justice, Roy knocked the leather off the ball with the bases loaded in what could very well turn out to be the World Series of recruiting this summer.
Kentucky coach John Calipari broke out his 2012 national title ring and had a good visit of his own with Randle. The next day, Roy broke out 31 rings, including one given to him by none other than the man himself, Michael Jordan. Roy told Randle he was fired up for the visit and left the prospect nearly blind from the treasure trove of bling he dropped on the teenage sensation from Texas.
As the recruiting period opened up other news both previously rumored and some new gems came out of the wood work. Reports have been conflicting for almost the entire summer in terms of whether or not 2014 center Jahlil Okafor had an offer from Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels or not. Okafor himself along with several reliable sources have confirmed that he in fact does have an offer from UNC. Roy told the #1 rated center in the class that only two people from Chicago have his office number, Michael Jordan and Okafor. A strong statement, obviously a big push for one of the most coveted prospects regardless of class. Okafor and another UNC target in the 2014 class, PG Tyus Jones are still set on going to the same program, Jones will visit the triangle sometime in October or November to talk with the Heels and Duke Blue Devils.
In other news, Kennedy Meeks the top pure center in the 2013 class and #17 rated prospect by ESPN in the 2013 class has scheduled a visit with UNC next week. Carolina is among six programs pushing hard for Meeks’ services. UNC will meet with Meeks sometime next week, the exact date is unknown right now.
SI cover boy Jabari Parker who has UNC on his top 10 list and has a in-home visit with Carolina of his own scheduled. Parker will meet with a total of eight programs in the next few weeks and UNC will have their turn at the table. Parkers’ schedule has not been released and based on the mystery that has surrounded his recruiting process and his protective parents, don’t be surprised if we don’t learn about the visit until it’s already in the books.
The player that many, including myself consider the best prep player in the land, regardless of class, Andrew Wiggins of Canada also revealed that he has had an offer from UNC for over a year. The process with Wiggins is strange, due to his parents allegiance with Florida State and Kentucky’s close relationship with him, most programs have backed off. Wiggins’ coach Rob Fulford made some strong statements saying that he has only heard from the coaches of those three programs. He insisted that Wiggins is “wide open” and other coaches should get involved. Assistant coach Steve Robinson visited with Wiggins and watched him play this week, if Fulford is right and this thing is wide open, UNC has a good shot at perhaps the best high school player since LeBron James.
UNC also was represented recently scouting 2013 small forward Reggie Cameron in an open gym workout. The Heels have yet to offer Cameron and based on their all-in approach with those with confirmed offers, Cameron looks like a backup plan. Perhaps the most publicized recruiting process in the nation, Troy Williams was also paid a visit by the UNC coaching staff recently. Movement is still slow on that front and Williams’ uncle, AAU coaching legend Boo Williams has indicated that Troy may not sign until the spring.
It’s been an eventful week, absent of any commitments, I expect the first shoe will drop sooner rather than later, what shoe you ask? Who knows, but one things for sure, it will be fun to watch and Keeping It Heel will bring you all the news and analysis as it happens. What’s your prediction?