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North Carolina will get to watch its lone 2019 commit, point guard Jeremiah Francis, now that he's returned from a knee injury.

North Carolina recruiting: Tar Heels commit Jeremiah Francis returns from knee injury

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 team. Read his daily notebooks here at 7 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday. In this edition, we discuss 4-star point guard commit Jeremiah Francis’ return after a six-month absence due to knee surgery.

Jeremiah Francis returns from knee injury

It’s been a long time since 4-star point guard Jeremiah Francis played in a basketball game.

The Pickerington, Ohio, prospect, and North Carolina commit suffered a left knee injury at the end of November. What initially was thought to be relatively minor injury with a 6-8 week absence proved anything but. Francis ultimately needed surgery to repair bone chippings and cartilage damage and missed his entire junior season.

While the wait was longer than he wanted, the nation’s No. 5 point guard and No. 52 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite finally made his return to the court. On Thursday, Francis suited up with his Pickerington Central squad at Ohio State’s team camp, according to The Dispatch’s Adam Jardy.

“It feels pretty good,” Francis told Jardy. “Kind of struggled a little bit today, but I know it will all come back to me.”

Francis has been North Carolina’s lone commitment in the Class of 2019 since he gave his pledge in August. Francis’ rebound from his knee injury will be very important for North Carolina because, in all likelihood, he will be its only true guard in the 2019 class.

North Carolina does not have outstanding offers to any guards, although it does view 5-star small forward Wendell Moore as a guard.

Tar Heels crack top 5 for Florida linebacker

It’s getting time for prospects to start cutting down their lists, and North Carolina was on the right side of one prospect’s list Monday night.

Jesiah Pierre, a 3-star outside linebacker from Mount Dora, Fla., named his top 5 schools Monday, which included Florida, Ole Miss, ECU and Miami, in addition to the Tar Heels.

Pierre is the No. 43 outside linebacker and No. 620 prospect in the Class of 2019.

It’s no surprise to see Miami on the list, as Pierre is a former Miami pledge. He committed to the Hurricanes in June 2016 and only announced his de-commitment in May, nearly two years later.

The only school he’s been to since he made that announcement is Central Florida, which did not make his reduced list.

Florida looks like the school to beat in Pierre’s recruitment. The Gators offered in January, which yielded two visits (including an April 14 visit that was his last before de-committing).

North Carolina offered Pierre last May and he camped in Chapel Hill in June, although he hasn’t returned.

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