Football is back in the air on national signing date.

We’re used to waiting until the first week in February to hear who Carolina has coming in its next football recruiting class. But coaches wanted an early signing date, like basketball has had for many years, and the NCAA rules committee gave them one.

The Tar Heels inked 14 players to letters of intent Wednesday, and reading Lee Pace’s account of these kids gets me excited that 3-9 seasons are potentially a thing of the past. No one covers Carolina sports better, in more detail or as colorfully as Pace, who has been a loyal football maven for years while everyone else around here goes bonkers for basketball.

Pace is subjectively objective. He tells it like it is with a Carolina slant. His account on will get you fired up over a pair of kids who won high school championships and two receivers regarded as the best at their positions in the state. One of them is the son of Deke Adams, the defensive line coach who has returned for a third stint on Larry Fedora’s staff, second at UNC. He says he stayed out of recruiting his wide receiver son, Jordyn, because UNC sells itself, beating Ohio State and Clemson, among many other schools, for young Adams.

The two state champion running backs are Devon Lawrence from Wake Forest High School’s back-to-back 4A titlists, for whom Lawrence had three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and Javonte Williams, who also won state at Wallace-Rose Hill and got used to Kenan Stadium with a 73-yard touchdown run there in his championship game.

Carolina signed two more quarterbacks, both rated as 4-star prospects, one from Georgia and the other from Kansas. Surely, between them, Nathan Elliott and Chazz Surratt, the Tar Heels can find a championship-caliber QB, don’t you think?

Fedora also signed some size at defensive end and linebacker, along with some speed to help replace a veteran secondary. This is only the beginning, with more recruiting to do in time for the traditional signing day in February, when most of the college coaches will say they signed everybody they wanted.

That, of course, is CoachSpeak 101, because they liked everybody they signed. But it sure looks like Carolina is off to a great start in getting more than a few kids it truly wanted.