CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – For the first time in the internet-era rankings, North Carolina signed a top-ten recruiting class. The Tar Heels rank No. 8 nationally, per the 247 Sports Composite, and No. 9 in the Rivals rankings. 

“This is possibly the best recruiting class in our school’s history,” UNC football coach Mack Brown said. “It’s a tremendous class.”

In total, 17 athletes in the Class of 2021 signed their NLI during the early signing period including five-star defensive lineman Travis Shaw (per the 247 Sports Composite, Shaw is the No. 4 overall prospect in the class of 2022 and second at his position) and five-star offensive tackle Zach Rice (per the 247 Sports Composite, Rice is the No. 11 overall prospect in the 2022 class and first in his position).

“Zach and Travis are very good friends,” Brown said. “They were playing on the same peewee teams when they were 12 and 13 years old. They grew up being good friends, both of them have aspirations to be pro players, and they want to compete against each other in practice. It really helped us that they had a relationship.”

From the beginning of his second stint in Chapel Hill, Brown has emphasized the importance of This season the Tar Heels signed nearly twice as many players from the state of Virginia (7) than in-state players (4)

“When North Carolina has been good they’ve always had good players from Virginia,” Brown explained. “That’s an area that we know that we have to continue to recruit.”

Below is a complete list of the UNC’s signed Class of 2022: 

  • Marcus Allen DB 6-2 175 Marietta, Ga. Walton 
  • Beau Atkinson* OLB 6-6 240 Raleigh, N.C. Leesville Road 
  • Randy ‘Deuce’ Caldwell II LB 6-1 215 Mauldin, S.C. Mauldin 
  • Tychaun ‘Doc’ Chapman WR 5-10 175 Virginia Beach, Va. Princess Anne 
  • Sebastian Cheeks* LB 6-3 220 Skokie, Ill. Evanston Township 
  • Trevyon Green* OL 6-7 345 Prince George, Va. Life Christian Academy 
  • Andre Greene Jr. WR 6-3 185 Richmond, Va. St. Christopher’s School 
  • Omarion Hampton RB 6-1 220 Clayton, N.C. Cleveland 
  • Malaki Hamrick* OLB 6-4 205 Shelby, N.C. Shelby 
  • Will Hardy DB 6-2 190 Lawrenceville, Ga. Greater Atlanta Christian 
  • Conner Harrell* QB 6-1 190 Alabaster, Ala. Thompson 
  • Tayon Holloway DB 6-1 170 Virginia Beach, Va. Green Run 
  • Bryson Jennings OLB 6-6 240 Richmond, Va. Clover Hill 
  • Justin Kanyuk OL 6-6 315 Lehigh Valley, Pa. Bethlehem Catholic 
  • George Pettaway* RB 5-11 190 Suffolk, Va. Nansemond-Suffolk Academy 
  • Zach Rice* OL 6-6 300 Lynchburg, Va. Liberty Christian Academy 
  • Travis Shaw* DL 6-5 330 Greensboro, N.C. Grimsley

* Indicates they will Enroll at UNC in January