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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Brown Keeps Adding Elite Talent at North Carolina

July 29, 2020

Mack Brown may have been a surprise choice to bring back to North Carolina after being out of coaching since 2013. He was pushed out at Texas with them looking for a change after the program dipped under his watch.

The one thing Brown could always do is recruit, though, and even with him approaching 70, Brown has proven he can still do that well.

North Carolina currently has a top-10 class after finishing in the top-15 last year. They are trending from the middle of the pack in the ACC to the upper tier with a chance to be behind only Clemson in terms of raw talent on their roster.

That’s happening just in time for Notre Dame to start playing the Tar Heels again. They are back on the schedule in 2021 and 2022. Those games look like they’ll be a lot tougher now than they would have been before Brown was hired.

The good news is that some of the dozen 4-stars who are committed to UNC won’t be impact players during the time they play Notre Dame. The bad news is that at least few will be and it wouldn’t be surprising if they are difference-makers.

We can start with quarterback Drake Maye‍ (35th in the ISD Fab 50). He was previously committed to Alabama before flipping to the school where his brother played basketball. He’s an outstanding prospect with a quick release and a great ability to make off-platform throws.

Sam Howell is going to be their quarterback in 2021 when they come up to South Bend to play, but Maye is probably going to be their QB1 in 2022 when the Irish visit Chapel HIll.

Technically cornerback Tony Grimes‍ is not in the class because he was recently able to re-classify to the 2020 class, which is totally not fishy at a school that just had an academic fraud scandal. Regardless of that, Grimes is a stud who looks like he could become a Jalen Ramsey type of defender. He’s that talented.

UNC also picked up an in-state commitment from Keeshawn Silver‍, a disruptive strong side end who may grow into a 3-technique. He has an awesome first step, looks freakishly long, and has explosive lateral movement. In other words, he looks like he’ll be a nightmare for anyone to have to block in a couple of years.

Grimes and Silver are the only two players in their class that Notre Dame offered and maybe that is partly strategic on the part of the Notre Dame staff because Brown has really done a great job in landing the majority of the top players in-state. They have nine of the top-15 committed to them with Clemson the only program that has taken multiple players away from them.

With a strong local recruiting base and the ability to land an elite prospect out of Virginia like Grimes, this should be a team that can match up with Notre Dame’s talent in these next two games. And as we’ve seen over the last three seasons, there aren’t many ACC programs that can do that.

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