Reviewing UNC Football’s Recruiting Class with Michael Clark of


Signing Day has come and gone, but let’s take one more look back on Carolina’s 2015 football recruiting class with Michael Clark of Clark is the Regional Recruiting Analyst covering North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia for You can follow him on Twitter @MClarkScout.

KIH’s questions and Clark’s answers are listed below.

Keeping It Heel: When you look at North Carolina’s 2015 recruiting class, what strengths and weaknesses do you see?

Michael Clark: I think the strengths in the recruiting class are definitely in the trenches. Defensively, they landed Jalen Dalton, Aaron Crawford and Jason Strowbridge, who are all members of the 2015 Scout 300. I think all three will play as true freshman and ultimately become major contributors for the Tar Heels. Then on the offensive line, they landed Tommy Hatton, William Sweet, Nick Polino, Mason Veal and Charlie Heck. All should develop into good players and adding five quality prospects will really with their depth on the offensive front.

When it comes to weaknesses, I don’t really see any except for numbers. This was the first time in a while that they had a chance to take a full class. However, to the staff’s credit, they took quality instead of quantity. Some schools add guys just for numbers, but North Carolina did not. Instead, they signed 19 guys who all have the chance to become significant contributors at some point in their careers. Another thing to consider is that they will be able to use those six scholarships left from this year on the next class, which should end up being a good thing.

KIH: UNC’s most talented recruit in the Class of 2015 was defensive end Jalen Dalton from Clemmons, North Carolina. When you took a look at Dalton’s tape, what stood out to you?

MC: Their a lot to like about Dalton. The first thing you notice are his measurables. He has prototypical size at 6-foot-6 and close to 250 pounds. Dalton is also extremely athletic and runs very well. He shows good explosion off the ball and has quick hands. On top of all those things, Dalton still has a huge upside. He is still somewhat raw and has a lot of room to add weight and strength, so his future is incredibly bright.

KIH: North Carolina made headlines when they signed Gene Chizik as their next defensive coordinator. How much of an impact do you think Chizik’s hiring had on this year’s recruiting class? How much of an impact will he have in 2016 and beyond?

MC: I don’t think it had a big impact on this year’s class simply because he wasn’t officially named the defensive coordinator until Jan. 19. However, it’s huge going forward in my opinion. He’s a coach, who’s helped win two national championships and one of the premier defensive minds in college football. I think he will have a huge impact going forward.

KIH: In a press conference earlier this week, Fedora said he battled a lot of negative recruiting surrounding the NCAA investigation and academic scandal in Chapel Hill. How much of an impact do you think that negative recruiting played in this recruiting cycle? How long will that dark cloud linger over Fedora’s efforts to recruit at UNC?

MC: It’s obviously tough for North Carolina because of the uncertainty and speculation. I think it definitely had an effect, but the staff was still able to sign a top 25 class, which is a tribute to their hard work and dedication. I’ve said for months that the NCAA owes North Carolina an answer. They have let this drag on for years and it’s not fair to the current players and coaches. Hopefully, it will be resolved in the near future.

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KIH: When Larry Fedora was hired, he really emphasized building a theoretical wall around N.C. and keeping the state’s best recruits in the state. Looking at his first few recruiting classes at UNC, how well as Fedora done at building that wall?

MC: Overall, I think he’s done a really good job. For example, he signed five of the top 15 prospects in North Carolina this year. Considering all the competition there is when it comes to recruiting the state from both in and out-of-state schools, I think you have to feel good about the job the staff has done. Add this class to the previous class, which included players such as Elijah Hood, Bentley Spain and Cayson Collins, and you have a strong foundation of in-state talent to build around.


Thanks so much to Michael Clark for answering our questions! And remember to go check him out on Twitter @MClarkScout!