'Quality over quantity' for UNC on signing day
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)
North Carolina had fewer scholarships to award this year and coach Larry Fedora was frugal in handing them out.
The Tar Heels on Wednesday signed a balanced 17-player class with an emphasis on speed, athletic ability, versatility and what Fedora says is ''quality over quantity.''
NCAA sanctions on the program have left North Carolina with 15 fewer scholarships over three years.
''With the situation we are in, we have a much smaller margin of error, so we have to do a tremendous job of evaluating these kids in (several) different areas,'' Fedora said.
But the players he did sign certainly come highly regarded. Scout.com's average star rating for this class is 3.24 and there are five four-star prospects in the group.
The recruiting service rates North Carolina's class No. 5 in the 14-team Atlantic Coast Conference, one reason Fedora proclaimed that ''I think this group is going to be the basis for multiple championships here at the University of North Carolina.''
Fedora mined his home state for talent, landing running back T.J. Logan of Greensboro and safety Desmond Lawrence of Charlotte, but he also went far beyond its borders to pull some of the best players from their respective states.
Ryan Switzer, the highest-profile recruit from West Virginia since Randy Moss, played five positions in high school - including receiver, running back and cornerback - and comes to Chapel Hill listed as an athlete.
Mitch Trubisky is a four-star quarterback named Mr. Football by the Associated Press in Ohio after he was the first player from the Cleveland area to throw for more than 9,000 yards in his career and more than 4,000 as a senior.
''He's got the `it' factor,'' Fedora said of Trubisky.
Fedora also placed a premium on the defensive line, signing five linemen - including four-star high school teammates Dajuan Drennon and Greg Webb of Erial, N.J.
Drennon is a defensive end who had 14 sacks as a senior while Webb is a defensive tackle who had 13 sacks as a junior but missed the first two months of his senior season while recovering from a knee injury.
''We knew we had to hit the D-line,'' Fedora said. ''We really needed some speed and some explosiveness off the edge to help with the pass rush, and we felt like we got those things.''