North Carolina Lands Pair of 2016 OLBs
On Monday, the North Carolina football program added two members to its 2016 recruiting class, bringing the Tar Heels’ total to seven pledges so far. Tyrone Hopper, a three-star linebacker out of Roswell (Ga.), dropped first after attending UNC’s camp earlier today.
“After going through the camp, and learning some things from Coach [John Papuchis] and Coach [Gene] Chizik, I went up to Coach [Larry] Fedora’s office – sat down with him and talked with him about being a Tar Heel,” Hopper told Scout.com’s Don Callahan. “And then I sat down with Coach J.P. and Coach Gene Chizik, and they basically talked about the same thing and we talked a little football. After that, I just felt like it was home for me and it was a great decision for me. My parents felt the same way, so I committed.”
Hooper, who is ranked as the No. 4 outside linebacker in the state of Georgia, chose North Carolina over 18 other schools that had offered the rising linebacker. Those schools include Wisconsin, Mississippi State, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville and Missouri, among others.
At 6’3” and 201 pounds, Hopper is very athletic and shows that he moves well on his junior highlight tape. With his size, Hopper has great length, and he used that to his advantage last year as he picked up 112 tackles, 24 pass breakups and four sacks.
After picking up Hopper’s pledge, North Carolina landed another southern three-star linebacker in Trinity Christian’s Dominique Ross.
“I just called Coach [John Papuchis] and Coach [Charlton] Warren, and I just wanted to go over a couple of things of how I fit in with the defense,” Ross told Callahan. “It sounded good. I believed him, because I’m going to take his word for it. I felt like it was a good place for me and I decided to commit.”
Just last week, Ross was on North Carolina’s campus, where the 6’3”, 203-pound athlete had the opportunity to observe Chapel Hill for the first time. This visit was enough to sell Ross on the atmosphere and feel comfortable in giving his verbal commitment to the Tar Heels’ staff.
Pair of Campers Commit to Michigan
Michigan has been extremely hot on the recruiting trail after executing its premiere “Summer Swarm” tour, where the UM staff traveled to 10 locations in nine days and picked up six commitments over the first two weeks of June.
McKeon, who checks in at 6’5” and 230 pounds, worked out yesterday for the Wolverines’ staff and dazzled with his performance.
“After seeing him today for the first time at Michigan’s camp, he definitely stood out and could ball,” Scout.com’s Brice Marich reported. “I did not see him drop one ball in the 7 on 7s, he got down in a three-point stance, got a good jump off the ball and went up in double coverage and snapped the pass. Very impressive and even on a little curl route, he caught the pass and made the defender miss and ran up the sideline another 15 yards.”
One important caveat in this commitment is that McKeon will be shutting down his recruitment and will not take visits to other schools. Before committing to Michigan, McKeon had planned on visiting Virginia and Virginia Tech in the near future. While McKeon is rated as a three-star prospect across the board, he is likely going to receive a rankings boost sooner rather than later.
“[Tight end coach] Jay Harbaugh and [running game coordinator / offensive line coach] Tim Drevno pulled him out of the tight end group to work with him one on one today and was seeing how he got off the ball to block,” Marich said. “Well, lets just say Jay might need to ice up after McKeon drove him back multiple times on each rep like 10 yards.”
As for Viramontes, the 6’2, 220-pound athlete played a handful of positions for his Norco (Ca.) High School team, and he is going to enter Michigan as an athlete.
“It feels great to commit to Michigan,” Viramontes told Scout.com’s Greg Biggins. “For me, education was the most important thing on my list and Michigan has a great academic reputation. Football wise, I really love Coach Harbaugh and how energetic he is.”
The UM staff first had the chance to evaluate Viramontes at its Fresno satellite camp, and he highly impressed the Michigan staff with his passing skills. As a runner, Viramontes is an accomplished dual-threat QB that will force the defense to stay honest at the next level.
“I’m really looking forward to playing for him,” Viramontes said of Harbaugh. “He has accomplished so much at the college and pro level and I’m really excited to play for him and I know he’ll help him reach my full potential as a football player.”