UNC football program earns commitment from Class of 2025 tight end

The UNC football program got some needed help at the tight end position when it signed Class of 2025 prospect Marshall Pritchett of Charleston, South Carolina.

Clemson v North Carolina
Clemson v North Carolina / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Just before the UNC basketball program punched its ticket to the Sweet 16, Tar Heel fans got some good news from the gridiron. One of the strongest and most versatile talents in the Class of 2025 signed with the UNC football program: Marshall Pritchett of Charleston, South Carolina.

Pritchett has spent the last two years at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, Georgia, a college prep school on the state's northeastern tip, five minutes from the North Carolina border. The Tar Heels emerged from a clown car of programs for Pritchett's services--including Michigan, Miami, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Florida State, Arkansas, South Carolina, Auburn, Illinois, and Georgia Tech.

However, according to On3--who ranks Pritchett as its No. 23 overall tight end prospect--the race all but ended in January. Pritchett said that "both me and my dad knew" after visiting Chapel Hill that month that he wanted to be a Tar Heel. On the way back to Charleston, Pritchett said, he and his dad glanced at each other, and they both felt "that feeling" that "I just knew it was North Carolina." While Pritchett continued to talk with around a dozen other schools, they all had a hard sell to make if they wanted to pry him away from UNC football--and they didn't make it.

Pritchett made the announcement at Charleston's Ethos Athletic Club. Soon afterward, he officially introduced himself to Tar Heel Nation on X/Twitter.

It's not every day that North Carolina beats out the likes of Michigan for a blue-chip high school recruit. But the Tar Heels had several aces in the hole. According to Inside Carolina, one of Pritchett's longtime neighbors in Charleston is UNC basketball senior guard Paxson Wojcik. Another childhood friend, Parks Cochrane, walked on at linebacker for the Tar Heels before joining Mack Brown's staff as a graduate assistant.

It also helped that Pritchett built a strong bond with the UNC football staff. He told On3 that Brown, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, and tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens "made me comfortable," and "the relationships he built"--especially with his new position coach--"made a big difference." He told Inside Carolina that Kitchens is looking for a recruit to replace a player departing from the tight end room. In Pritchett's case, Kitchens sees him as the eventual successor to Bryson Nesbit, since Pritchett can "flex out" just like Nesbit.

That suits Nesbit just fine. He told On3 that he doesn't see himself as "that traditional tight end" but as "a hybrid that can be moved around and used in different ways." He sees a lot of opportunities to be turned loose in Lindsey's spread offense. To get a sample of Pritchett's versatility, check out a sample of him in action as a sophomore from WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

WXIA's Blaine Gilmer said at the time that even then, Pritchett showed the ability to "move very fluidly"--a big reason that he had already become "a name to know" as a sophomore. Looking at this clip, I get visions of several of UNC football's past stars at tight end, like Greg DeLong and Alge Crumpler.

With this addition, the UNC football program now has the 17th-best recruiting class in 247Sports' Class of 2025 rankings. Beating out Michigan for top talent can do wonders for your rankings.

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