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Larry Fedora will have to move on without his top receiver commit in the Class of 2018.

North Carolina recruiting: Jordyn Adams will sign with Angels, forgo college

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 the multi-million dollar decision 4-star receiver signee Jordyn Adams has made.

For the last several weeks, we’ve spent quite a bit of space in the Dean’s List discussing the prospects of 4-star receiver signee Jordyn Adams’ professional baseball career.

The day finally came on Monday with the start of the MLB draft, and as expected, Adams came off the board on the first day, going 17th overall to the Los Angeles Angels.

Naturally, Tar Heels fans probably were wondering what this means for Adams’ status with North Carolina. Unfortunately, you won’t see the nation’s No. 8 receiver and No. 58 overall player in Carolina blue next season, as he has told FOX Sports West that he will indeed sign with the Angels. He confirmed that in a post on Twitter.

In general, first-round picks almost always sign because these deals are at least partially pre-negotiated. Adams is in line for a signing bonus just south of $3.5 million. But as a high school prospect with a college scholarship to play two sports in hand, he almost certainly will receive more than that.

The last time a first-round pick didn’t sign was Nick Lodolo in 2016 with the Pirates, but Lodolo was the 41st overall pick. Brady Aiken, the first overall pick in 2014, was the last top-20 pick to not sign, and that was a special case with a bad relationship between the Houston Astros front office and Aiken.

There was also Phil Bickford in 2013 and Mark Appel in 2012, but all of those guys were pitchers, and it’s much more common for pitchers to turn down money in hopes of improving draft stock, often related to injury. Only one position player, high school second baseman LeVon Washington in 2009, has failed to sign over the last decade.

There’s also a second aspect to the arrangement that makes a lot of sense for Adams to go the baseball route. By choosing baseball, Adams does not preclude himself from a college football career later should baseball not work out. Most notably, Brandon Weeden went to Oklahoma State following a stint in minor-league baseball before becoming a first-round NFL draft pick in 2012. Donavan Tate, a former San Diego Padres first-round pick, spent last season as a backup quarterback at Arizona as well.

Adams wasn’t the only football standout to get picked on Monday night. Kyler Murray, the presumed replacement for Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma this season, was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics. Murray already has said that he’ll be playing football this season, which was a stipulation for him to sign with any team.

While there wasn’t anything stopping Adams from making a similar arrangement, it wouldn’t have been practical from a developmental standpoint. Adams is already viewed as a work in progress on the diamond with extremely high upside. For Murray, missing fall and instructional league time isn’t a sticking point because he already has reps above the high school level, which isn’t the case for Adams.

Murray also has leverage in that he could opt to stay in school, play out his senior season, and return to the MLB draft next season. As a freshman, Adams wouldn’t have had that option. It also wouldn’t have made sense for North Carolina to invest resources in developing Adams as a football player for just one season.

Unfortunately for Tar Heels fans, it will mean a signing class that’s one player short of what was expected, and that hit was the top-rated skill position player in the class.

North Carolina still has a lot to be excited about at the receiver position with 4-star athlete Dyami Brown and 4-star receiver Antoine Green expected to come in and get opportunities right away.

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