UNC Lands 2017 Four-Star Wide Receiver

UNC landed another top in-state football recruit on Friday with a verbal commitment from Ryan Jones.

Jones is a four-star wide receiver, according to most recruiting outlets.

The Mallard Creek product is the fifth recruit to commit to UNC in the 2017 graduating class, all of whom are rated as four-star products.

Jones is joining Eastern Alamance offensive lineman Jonah Melton, South Mecklenburg defensive end Jake Lawler, Cuthbertson wide receiver J.T. Cauthen and wide receiver Tyler Smith in the 2017 class. Smith, out of Powder Springs, Georgia, is the only member of the class not from North Carolina.

UNC got the commitment from Jones just two days after the 2016 class signed letters of intent to play for Carolina on National Signing Day.

In-state recruiting has been an area that Carolina head coach Larry Fedora has said was going to be a focus for the Tar Heel coaching staff.

According to 247 Sports rankings, the top 13 players in the 2016 class from North Carolina all signed with schools outside of the state.

UNC has done well recruiting other areas, but it has been clear the Tar Heel state was a point of emphasis for Fedora. And it looks like the 2017 class is off to a good start with four of the top eight North Carolina prospects pledged to UNC.


Three Tar Heels Prepare for Super Bowl 50

UNC will be very well represented at Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara on Sunday, both on the field and in the radio booth.

Former Tar Heels Tre Boston and Sylvester Williams will suit up for the defenses of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos, respectively.

Williams earned first-team all-conference honors during his time at Carolina. Williams is the starting defensive tackle for the Broncos, who boast the NFL’s top-ranked defense. Williams finished the regular season with 25 tackles and three sacks.

Williams will be making his second appearance in the Super Bowl with the Broncos in just three seasons.

Boston was a four-year starter at Carolina and played for head coach Larry Fedora for three seasons. Boston was a second-team All-ACC selection as a senior.

Boston came up with two turnovers in the Panthers’ 49-15 clobbering of the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, recovering a fumble and picking off Carson Palmer.

Super Bowl 50 marks the fifth time Carolina has had players on both teams in the NFL championship game, according to the university.

While Boston and Williams will be battling it out with opposing offenses in hopes of helping their team to a Super Bowl victory, a Tar Heel voice will be calling the action.

Mick Mixon is a Chapel Hill native who graduated from UNC in 1980 before spending more than a decade as the color analyst for the Tar Heel Sports Network broadcasts of Carolina athletics.

Mixon is now the play-by-play voice for the Carolina Panthers, getting set to call his first Super Bowl.

Mixon spoke with Art Chansky and Blake Hodge about what the experience has been like for the Panthers preparing for the second Super Bowl appearance in team history.


Mixon continues his conversation with WCHL reflecting on the career path of star quarterback Cam Newton.


Mixon also spoke about the bright future of the Carolina Panthers, who have young star players under contract for years to come.


The Panthers and Broncos take the field for Super Bowl 50 on Sunday evening with kickoff scheduled for 6:30.


BOG Protesters Agree to Deal to Dismiss Charges

Resolutions were reached against two of the three protesters facing charges following their arrests at the UNC Board of Governors meeting in late January.

The individuals were arrested after a group of protesters took over the BOG meeting, speaking out against the election of Margaret Spellings as the new System President.

Madelein Scanlon, Olufemi Shittu and Irving Allen all appeared before Judge Jay Bryan in Orange County Court on Thursday.

Madelein Scanlon. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Madelein Scanlon. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Scanlon was facing misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct in a public building and resisting a public officer. She was also charged with felony assault inflicting physical injury of a law enforcement officer.

Shittu was facing a sole misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct in a public building.

Allen is facing misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct in a public building and resisting a public officer.

Scanlon and Shittu each agreed to a deal with the state to dismiss their charges upon completion of certain parameters.

Scanlon admitted guilt to the misdemeanor charges and pledged to not commit any criminal offense – other than minor traffic offenses, pay the $180 fines/court cost, complete 24 hours of community service, to not assault, threaten or harass the victim or any witnesses – which in this case would consist of members of the Board of Governors – and Scanlon is not allowed to go on the premises where any BOG meeting is being held over the next year. In exchange for her admitting guilt on the misdemeanor charges, the felony assault charge was thrown out on Thursday. If Scanclon completes the requirements put forward by the court before February 2, 2017, the misdemeanor charges will be dismissed.

Olufemi Shittu. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Olufemi Shittu. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Shittu admitted guilt to the misdemeanor disorderly conduct in a public building charge, which will be dismissed if she completes requirements by February 2, 2017. The parameters for dismissal include not committing any criminal offense – other than minor traffic offenses and paying $230 in fines/court cost. Shittu also pledged to not assault, threaten or harass members of the BOG and to not go upon the premises where any UNC Board of Governors meeting is being held over the next year.

Allen also appeared in court on Thursday and could agree to similar parameters, but his court date was held over to allow him time to meet with counsel.

IMG_1928The 32-member Board of Governors will be meeting again on March 4, at Fayetteville State University. That will be the first meeting led by President-elect Spellings.


Ronald Curry Hired as New Orleans Saints Offensive Assistant

Former UNC football and basketball star Ronald Curry has been hired to join the New Orleans Saints coaching staff. The team announced the hire on Tuesday.

Curry was hired as an offensive assistant under head coach Sean Payton.

Curry played seven seasons in the NFL and has spent the past three seasons as a coach on the San Francisco 49ers staff. Curry most recently served as the wide receiver’s coach for the 49ers before Chip Kelly was hired as the new head coach.

During his professional playing days, Curry started 32 games catching 193 passes for 2,347 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Curry played quarterback for the football team and point guard on the Tar Heel basketball team during his time at UNC.

Curry was named the McDonald’s National Basketball Player of the Year and the National Football Player of the Year by several outlets during his senior year of high school.


UNC Football Promotes Chris Kapilovic to Offensive Coordinator

UNC is promoting offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic to fill the vacant offensive coordinator position, according to the News & Observer’s Andrew Carter.

Kapilovic has been the offensive line coach for the Tar Heels over the last four seasons. Kapilovic also served as co-offensive coordinator beginning in 2014 after serving as the run game coordinator the previous two seasons.

During his time coaching the offensive line, the unit has been one of the strongest pieces of the Carolina football team. Offensive line play helped the Tar Heels to one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2015, and guard Landon Turner was one of the top interior linemen in the country.

The other four starters along the offensive line, excluding Turner, are expected to be back with Carolina in 2016.

The Tar Heels have boasted one of the most explosive offenses in the country under head coach Larry Fedora. That offense will bring back many starters next season, although UNC will lose three senior starters in quarterback Marquise Williams, wide receiver Quinshad Davis and Turner.

Fedora has said the offensive scheme wouldn’t change with whoever was tabbed as offensive coordinator.

Kapilovic will take the place of Seth Littrell, who left the Tar Heels in December to take the head coach position at North Texas.


3 Injured in Chapel Hill Fire

The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a structure fire Tuesday night at 109-B Cole Street.

Emergency crews were dispatched at approximately 9:42 after getting reports of smoke coming from inside the building, according to a release from the Chapel Hill Fire Department.

Crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly. One resident and two Chapel Hill Police Officers were taken to UNC Hospitals for treatment.

The Carrboro Fire Department also responded to the scene.

We will continue to update this story as we receive information.


UNC Football Welcomes in Class of 2016 Recruits

It is National Signing Day and college football programs around the country are adding the next class of freshmen.

UNC is no exception. Eight newcomers graduated high school in December and enrolled early at Carolina.

Other seniors, who up until today were only verbal commits, are sending in Letters of Intent to play for the Tar Heels.

Defensive end Nolan DeFranco was the first commit to send in his LOI.

DeFranco was followed by offensive lineman Jay-Jay McCargo:


Defensive tackle Marlon Dunlap:

Linebacker Tyrone Hopper:


Defensive tackle Kyree Campbell:

Quarterback Chazz Surratt:


Offensive lineman Luke Elder:

Wide receiver Roscoe Johnson:


Defensive back Greg Ross:

Defensive back Patrice Rene:


Tight end Noah Turner: 


Wide receiver Rontavius Groves:


Linebacker Dominique Ross:

Defensive end Tomon Fox:


Defensive back D.J. Ford:

Defensive back James Pierre:


Offensive lineman Tyler Pritchett:

Defensive end Allen Cater:


Defensive back K.J. Sails:

24/7sports’ Ross Martin gave WCHL a preview of what to expect from the 2016 recruiting class.

This page will be updated throughout the day.

The full list of UNC commits, including those who have not signed at this time, courtesy of 24/7 Sports


UNC Chancellor Meets With Students to Discuss Diversity

Improving race relations and creating a welcoming environment for all students has been one of the biggest storylines on university campuses around the country and at UNC in recent months.

High-level administrators, including Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Jim Dean, met with student activists Friday to continue the discussion surrounding diversity at UNC, according to Carolina Connection.

Folt has sent multiple messages to the campus to lay out plans moving forward to incorporate student group ideas of how to improve the sometimes-tense relationship between the university and minority students. A group of students stopped a Town Hall event on campus last year to read a list of demands.

A task force responsible for “developing a comprehensive approach to curtaing and teaching the history of the University” was created in September 2015.

The task force is looking at projects including McCorkle Place, home to the oft-defaced Silent Sam statute that serves as a memorial to UNC students who died serving in the Confederacy during the Civil War. The group is also working on a permanent solution for Carolina Hall, which saw the Board of Trustees change its name from Saunders Hall last year. The building’s former namesake, Williams L. Saunders, was a Colonel in the Confederate Army and purportedly the leader of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina. While records do not exist that clearly name Saunders the leader of the KKK, the Board of Trustees touted that as a qualification for the building to be named in his honor in the 1920s.

Carolina Connection is the radio news magazine produced by students in the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism. You can hear Carolina Connection Saturdays throughout the semester at 8:30 on WCHL, immediately following the Chapelboro Week in Review.


UNC Women’s Lacrosse Ranked No. 2 Starting 2016

UNC women’s lacrosse will begin its 2016 season ranked second in the country.

The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association announced its preseason poll on Monday.

The Tar Heels finished the 2015 season ranked second after losing to Maryland in the national championship game. The Terrapins will start the new season at the top of the poll.

Four other members of the Atlantic Coast Conference are ranked in the preseason top 10; Syracuse checks in at number three, followed by Duke at number four, Boston College will start the season ninth and Virginia rounds out the top 10. ACC members Notre Dame (11) and Louisville (15) are also ranked.

Nine members of the Tar Heel squad were named to the preseason All-America team.

The 2016 season begins on the road as Carolina will visit James Madison on Saturday.


UNC Protester Says Group Will ‘Always’ Ask for Margaret Spellings’ Dismissal

Four protesters were arrested at the UNC Board of Governors meeting last Tuesday.

The group was protesting the election of Margaret Spellings at UNC System President.

The magistrate did not find probably cause for charges against one student. But the other three individuals were charged with counts ranging from disorderly conduct to resisting an officer and even assault on a law enforcement officer causing serious injury.

One of those arrested was Femi Mimi Brown Shittu, who spoke with Carolina Connections’ Alex Thomas about the incident and the protesters’ plans going forward.

The protesters are due in court on February 4.

The next meeting of the Board of Governors is slated for March 4 at Fayetteville State University. That will be the first meeting under the direction of Spellings.

Carolina Connection is the radio news magazine produced by students in the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism. You can hear Carolina Connection Saturdays throughout the semester at 8:30 on 97.9FM/1360AM WCHL, immediately following the Chapelboro Week in Review.