Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Roy Williams' hard work in recruiting 5-star power forward Armando Bacot appears to be paying off.

North Carolina recruiting: Needle moves toward Tar Heels with 5-star big man

Cody Pace

Join us daily at ACC DieHards for the latest North Carolina recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Tar Heels. Don’t miss any coverage from Cody Pace and the DieHards.com team. Read his daily notebooks here at 7 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday. In this edition, we discuss a surge of 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions favoring the Tar Heels for 5-star power forward/center Armando Bacot.


Tar Heels trending in Crystal Ball with Armando Bacot

Roy Williams has worked hard in his recruitment of 5-star Class of 2019 power forward/center Armando Bacot, and it looks like all of that attention might be paying off.

Coming into March, Williams had visited Bacot three times in three months, but Duke still led in his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions. Then Williams made his fourth trip to see Bacot in Richmond, Va., last Thursday and the Tar Heels picked up their first Crystal Ball prediction. That seems to have led to a tidal wave of other recruiting insiders leaning toward the Tar Heels. As of Monday, North Carolina had its first lead in the industry predictions with five of the nine predictions in on Bacot.

247Sports’ Andrew Slater was the first to make that prediction on Thursday. He was shortly followed by 247Sports Director of Basketball Scouting Jerry Meyer and Scout’s Ross Martin, a North Carolina insider.

While there’s still a long way to go with Bacot, the nation’s No. 7 center and No. 20 overall player per the 247Sports composite rankings, this is a good sign for Williams, especially since there hasn’t been a lot of early traction with the group of elite junior prospects that the Tar Heels have targeted. This most certainly won’t be Williams’ last visit to Bacot, either, and we can expect that the North Carolina coaching staff will keep checking in on him during the open evaluation periods in April and July.

Tar Heels continue offering juniors

With junior day over the weekend, North Carolina saw a lot of prospects from the Class of 2019, and even a few 2020 prospects, on campus.

Many of them already had offers before they arrived, but a few walked away with new offers. Over the next week, we’ll highlight a few of those, starting with an offer on Friday to 3-star Dayton (Ohio) quarterback Connor Bazelak.

The offer to Bazelak is one of the more interesting ones, because it makes him just one of three pro-style quarterbacks with an offer from the Tar Heels along with 4-star Texas prospect Grant Gunnell and 4-star North Carolina standout Sam Howell. Bazelak is the No. 16 pro-style quarterback and the No. 614 overall player in the Class of 2019.

The offer from North Carolina put him at 17, which includes Indiana, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.

Also receiving an offer on Friday was 3-star Williamsport, Md., defensive tackle Tayquon Johnson, according to his high school’s Twitter account. Johnson posted the offer on his Instagram on Saturday.

Blessed to receive an offer from The University of North Carolina

A post shared by Tayquon Johnson (@tayquonfootballjohnson) on

Despite being ranked as a top-500 prospect by 247Sports, Johnson has only landed five offers, including Kentucky, Rutgers, Texas A&M and Virginia in addition to the Tar Heels.

Johnson is the No. 30 defensive tackle in his class.

Miss a previous edition? Find every ACC DieHards daily North Carolina Tar Heels recruiting notebook right here.