One of Georgia’s top college football prospects was “shocked” with the firing of North Carolina coach Butch Davis.
Sheldon Rankins, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end from Eastside-Covington High School, is a prime UNC recruiting target and admitted he would be committed to the Tar Heels right now if they weren’t under NCAA investigation. Rankins was caught off guard by Wednesday’s turn of events.
“It’s always a shocker to hear the head coach of the football team you really like got fired … but you take it as it is and go with it,” Rankins told the AJC. “I was already looking at other options because of the NCAA sanctions, so it didn’t really affect me that much. Everything is still wide open.”
Rankins said his top two options are South Florida and Auburn, while he’s also communicating with N.C. State, Mississippi State, Louisville and Nebraska. Rankins stated that Auburn recently offered him a scholarship.
“It was around two weeks ago, and we spoke a little bit,” Rankins said. “They want me to come down there, see the campus and get a good feel for the place.” Rankins said he may visit this weekend or next.
Rankins hasn’t ruled out North Carolina, despite the firing of Davis and looming NCAA penalties. “I’ve always liked North Carolina. Since I was a kid, I’ve watched North Carolina basketball, and I’ve followed their football program a little bit.
“I’ve always liked the Tar Heels. And, you know, Coach Davis was a coach I really liked. Anyone would tell you when a head coach that you’re really fond of gets fired that it would affect your decision. I’m going to wait to see who they name as head coach and go from there.”
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? email@example.com
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