North Carolina

North Carolina signing day preview

Posted February 2, 2009
Updated February 3, 2009

As college football's national signing day approaches, more and more is made of each program's recruiting class, and rating services from all over the nation compare and contrast the athletes from whom various schools have earned oral commitments.

Prep school players and transfers from across the country are labeled with stars and, if they are good enough, invited to All-Star games in which they get to represent their future collegiate institution.

Any college football fan or coach knows that success starts with recruiting talented athletes, but there is no fool-proof formula for predicting which high school standouts will have the greatest impact at the college level.

Sometimes the "best" players in the nation pan out and become tomorrow's All-Americans, while other times they're busts. On the other hand, every year we see so-called sleeper prospects, those who didn't garner much in the way of star rankings or recruiting attention, but who blossom on the collegiate field.

Here is a look at the players from the Tar Heels' 2008 recruiting class who had the most impact on Butch Davis' team last season, along with their rankings at the time of their commitments.

(All rankings and measurements according to

1.) Robert Quinn: 4-star defensive end

Quinn was not only the greatest impact freshman, but also the team's best story. The winner of the 2008 ACC Brian Piccolo Award, given to the conference's most courageous player, he overcame a potentially life-threatening brain tumor to register 34 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a pair of forced fumbles in his freshman season for the Heels.

2.) Michael McAdoo: 3-star defensive end

McAdoo tallied nine tackles in his true freshman season and added three tackles for loss and a pair of quarterback sacks.

3.) Quinton Coples: 4-star defensive end

The 6-foot-7, 235-pound lineman made eight tackles in his inaugural season in Chapel Hill, 3.5 of which were behind the line of scrimmage. Coples also had 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in 2008.

4.) Zach Brown: 4-star linebacker

Brown didn't see much action in his first season on campus, but did manage to tally half a dozen tackles, four of which were solo.

5.) Melvin Williams: 4-star defensive back

Williams, a community college transfer, had minimal impact on the field, but it was still the fifth-most of any first-year player on the roster. The 6-footer made five tackles on the year.

As for the 2009 recruiting class, here are the players that have either signed, or intend to sign, their letter of intent with North Carolina.

Players that have already signed with North Carolina:

NamePositionStarsHtWT40 Time (in sec.)Hometown
Joshua AdamsWR46-4


 --Cheshire, CT
Kevin ReddickLB46-32304.65Chatham, VA

Players that are expected to sign with the Heels:

NamePositionStarsHtWt40 Time (in sec.)Hometown
Donte MossDE56-42354.6Jacksonville, NC
Jheranie BoydWR46-21844.45Gastonia, NC
Donavan TateATH46-22054.5Cartersville, NC
Justin DixonLB46-0228 4.5Smithfield, NC
Jared McAdooDT46-2285 --Chapel Hill, NC
Bryn RennerQB46-3192 4.8West Springfield, VA
Brennan WilliamsOL46-6272 4.97West Roxbury, MA
Hawatha BellLB46-1 225 4.5Matthews, NC
A.J. BlueATH46-2 205 4.6Chatham, VA
Johnnie FarmsOL46-2 285 5.2Perry, GA
Josh HunterDB46-2 172 4.4Charlotte, NC
Terry ShankleDB45-10 167 4.43Norwood, NC
David CollinsOL36-7 290 5.3Kernersville, NC
Travis BondOL36-7 330 5.2Windsor, NC
D. J. BunnDB35-11 190 --Smithfield, NC
Vincent DavisWR36-1 195 4.6Monroe, NC
Angelo HadleyDB36-0 187 4.5Seffner, FL
Mywan JacksonATH35-11 169 4.52Seffner, FL
Josh McKieATH36-0 176 4.54Mauldin, SC
Gene RobinsonDB35-10 165 4.53Memphis, TN
Prizell BrownTE36-4 258 4.65Brenham, TX
Jerrell RhodesRB35-10 195 4.48Durham, NC
C.J. FeaglesK25-11 180 --Ridgewood, NJ
Hunter FurrATH26-0 197 --Lewisville, NC
Shane MularkeyLB26-3 215 --Norcross, GA
Erik HighsmithWR26-2 172 4.45Vanceboro, NC
Curtis CampbellDB26-22054.47Chesapeake, VA


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  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Feb 4, 2009

    "onyourheels: (50) 5* UNC recruits = 1 big L in Raleigh this fall."

    This gets a big ole "LOL" outta me! Keep dreamin'!!!

    TOB = soon to be 3-0 against el Butcho.

  • bigdaddyfan Feb 3, 2009

    Not so fast!!!!! Teams like Fla & UGA will pass them up when it comes time to sign.

  • wrx44 Feb 3, 2009

    onyourheels...I actually agree with you in general. Any State fan who wants to say getting 2-3 star players is the same OVERALL as getting 4-5 star players is kidding themselves.

    That being said...O'Brien has shown year in and out he knows talent, and tough players...NCSU has had plenty of their share of high ranked players who did not pan out for one reason or the other.

    UNCs class should be rated higher than NCSUs....but I do think we got a heck of a class with big time help on both sides of the trenches, and TOB knows thats where winning starts.

    I would like all highly rated recruits, but I have confidence TOB is getting what he wants. You also have to remember last year TOB dominated in-state and had a highly rated class. I also hear we are in good shape for 2010 in state. So I think the future is very bright for NCSU.

  • onyourheels2 Feb 3, 2009

    earlytimes- now compare state to usc,tex,nd,and fla. and see how many players are in the nfl. if you keep getting 4* and 5* players your numbers go up. we're on that path while yall are just yall.

  • 2early4me Feb 3, 2009

    And, oh, BTW, Adrian Wilson proudly announced with great pride, his alma mater on Sunday evening! Wolfpack Pride - can't beat it!

  • 2early4me Feb 3, 2009

    Hey Jugghead, I mean judburnette3, so what's your point? That TA didn't make it to the NFL? Are you serious? Most collegiate players, no matter where they go, do not make it to that level. I could count any number of UNC players who are in the same boat. However, I'm feeling a little generous today so I'll share some knowledge with you so you won't feel as if your worthless post was in vain. Check this link out: It lists all the current players in the NFL by college. Count 'em up - there are 23 players from Chapel Hole, and 22 from the people's University, NC State. Hmmmm...... 5* vs. 3* really don't make that much difference now do they? Now, consider yourself informed.

  • wrx44 Feb 3, 2009

    2early4me...absolutely...political correctness run amok...everyone is the same, everyone does well, no one performs any better in the class then anyone else....

    Hey, we don't want to hurt any poor students feelings now do we?...but even more than that, the faculty want to ensure they get good reviews from all students.

    I am glad to see the N&O actually expose the Sham that is the grading of UNC students.

    All that "we graduate above 70% of our student athletes" means NOTHING...cause everyone is given good grades regardless...

  • judburnette3 Feb 3, 2009

    Hey 2early4me, what does your great former recruit at RB TA McClendon(however you spell his last name haven't seen it on a jersey in a while) say is his college when he is introduced at his NFL games? Oh wait that is right, he doesn't play in the NFL!

  • 2early4me Feb 3, 2009

    A very fine point indeed wrx44! My good man, the place just oozes socialism......

  • 2early4me Feb 3, 2009

    I must admit you got me on that one (NCSU basketball) onyourheels - NCSU basketball sucks right now. However, this is a post concerning football. I'll take TOB's 3* recruits with heart over Biutch's 5* prima donnas everytime. *s don't mean jack when we're lining up to punch each other in the mouth. BTW, is Roy's crowd sending any $ over to help repair the structure of the south's most notorious aluminum jungle? I'd like to get over to see TOB's final tail whipping of Biutch in Kenan in '10 but I want to make sure it's safe enough to bring the kids.




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