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North Carolina hasn't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Elijah Hood in 2015. Could a Class of 2019 prospect be the next to eclipse that mark?

North Carolina recruiting: Sizing up Tar Heels’ running back board

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 which running back prospects North Carolina is targeting for its Class of 2019.


It’s been a bit of a slow start for North Carolina on the recruiting trail with the Class of 2019, especially on offense.

The Tar Heels have four commits, all on defense or special teams, and stand outside of the top 50 classes nationally.

We can expect a lot of movement for the Tar Heels over the next few months, and the position that may see the most success is running back.

North Carolina had a strong running back group in the Class of 2018 with 3-star prospects Devon Lawrence and Javonte Williams. But the Class of 2019 group has a chance to be even better, as North Carolina has targeted several elite options.

The dream running back would be 5-star athlete Quavaris Crouch, although his recruitment is shaping up to be a fight among blue-blood programs, and he could end up playing defense, anyway.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the running backs the Tar Heels have been working on the hardest.

Other breakdowns: Quarterback

Khafre Brown, 4-star RB, Charlotte, N.C.

West Mecklenburg High School’s Khafre Brown might be the biggest North Carolina lock in the Class of 2019.

If Brown’s name sounds familiar, it’s not because Brown is a common last name. Brown is the younger brother of 4-star athlete Dyami Brown, who signed with North Carolina in the Class of 2018.

The younger Brown, unsurprisingly, has been to Chapel Hill several times, including at least five trips over the last year, the last of which came at the end of April.

Brown ranks as the No. 8 running back and No. 158 overall player in the Class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Although he has just short of 20 offers, he’s considered a heavy North Carolina lean.

If anyone can challenge the Tar Heels, it probably will be Tennessee. Brown visited the Vols in early April and has indicated that he likes the school, but I anticipate family ties are too strong here and Brown ends up in Chapel Hill.

Josh Henderson, 3-star RB, Princeton, N.J.

If Brown is the biggest North Carolina lean, Josh Henderson might be the second-most.

Henderson, the No. 29 running back and No. 428 prospect in the Class of 2019, already has been to North Carolina twice since he procured an offer in February. 247Sports’ Don Callahan has indicated that Henderson is favoring the Tar Heels, which lines up with the overwhelming pick of North Carolina in his 247Sports Crystal Ball.

Henderson has 21 offers, though the primary challenger for his services is Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights were among the earliest offers for Henderson, and he’s also been there twice in 2018.

Patrick Garwo, 3-star RB, Fairless Hills, Pa.

It’s possible that North Carolina lands both Brown and Henderson takes no more RB commits. But if not, Patrick Garwo is the third most likely prospect to land in Chapel Hill.

Garwo, the No. 26 running back and No. 403 overall player in the Class of 2019, included North Carolina in his top 6 at the beginning of April along with Boston College, Wisconsin, Virginia, Syracuse and Rutgers.

Garwo last visited North Carolina in March for junior day.

Keilan Robinson, 4-star RB, Washington, D.C.

Beyond the first three, the board gets a little hazy, but North Carolina likes 4-star running back Keilan Robinson.

Robinson’s recruitment doesn’t appear to be ending soon, especially given his recent stretch of offers which included Georgia, Florida State, West Virginia and Alabama.

The nation’s No. 22 running back and No. 347 overall player has visited both Ole Miss and Alabama since the beginning of April, and Florida State is also expected to be a major player here.

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