After online starts, some Ohio college students head back to campus - The Columbus Dispatch

Several weeks after the traditional start of fall semester, some area colleges are now welcoming students back to campus after delayed returns and phased move-ins.In the plaza outside Yochum Hall at Capital University, the frothing water fountains and students studying with open laptops at picnic tables make for a college campus that feels almost normal in this pandemic era."I'm just glad to finally move in, and finally meet my class," Hannah Riley said through a royal purple, Capital-branded mask this past week. The first-year student from Newark arrived on the Bexley campus earlier this month.Several weeks after the traditional start of fall semester, some area colleges are just now welcoming students back to campus after delayed returns and phased move-ins.After a spring and summer of online classes, Capital sophomore Alexa Shields was disappointed not to return to campus as scheduled in August."But I do think the time that we weren't here really gave (the un…

UNC Recruiting in a Good Spot Despite Coronavirus Impact - 247Sports

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- The Coronavirus pandemic halted all recruiting visits for college football prospects, but while the situation is less than ideal across the board, North Carolina's big head start to the 2021 class leaves them less impacted than other schools.

During this emergency dead period, recruits cannot visit colleges and coaches cannot visits prospects. It occurred during a critical spring period when many prospects were expected to visit schools for spring practices and games.

“I thought what an awful time for this for all of us and how selfish of me to think..." UNC head coach Mack Brown said on Monday. "We had so much momentum going in recruiting and we don't need to slow down now. And we've got all these new facilities going and wanted to show them to recruits and we had so many people set up to come in."

But in reality, UNC is sitting pretty with 11 commitments, likely past halfway done with its total for the 2021 cycle. Just before the Coronavirus restrictions escalated, the Tar Heels landed four commitments in six days. They followed that with two more last week.

"And then about the time I thought that we weren't going to be able to keep our momentum in recruiting, we have three guys commit in a day-and-a-half period," Brown said. "I had to space them out and say, ‘Well, let everybody have their own day so they can announce it. So let's hold him till tomorrow and let’s hold him until the next day.’ And three guys popped immediately."

Defensive end Keeshawn Silver committed to UNC on March 3. Then three committed in three days -- quarterback Drake Maye on March 6, wide receiver Kobe Paysour on March 7, and offensive tackle Eli Sutton on March 8.

UNC head coach Mack Brown (Photo: Jim Hawkins, Inside Carolina)

Brown believes the Coronavirus crisis can and will affect how prospects and their families will approach recruiting. Geography and playing close to home may have more of an impact on their decision now than before.

"So there's a couple of real advantages, good advantages for us that I feel," Brown said. "No. 1, we recruit in a footprint from basically D.C. to Atlanta and all of those kids can drive here. So we're really close to home with everybody that we're talking to. And when you recruit that close to home and you have a crisis like this, I think parents really would rather their kids stay close to home. So if something comes up, they can get home more easily. And so I think that's an advantage for us."

For the 2021 class, UNC will not be affected by the Coronavirus as much as some programs that were trying to play catch-up. With 11 commitments, the Tar Heels can be very selective with whom they target to fill out the class while their pool of targeted players has now shrunk.

"The other thing is we don't recruit that many guys. We look at who we want and what we want," Brown said. "We're really heavily recruiting in the state. So a lot of people are still recruiting a hundred guys. We're recruiting 30 to try to get 20. And so that helps us, I feel like, because we're so involved on a day-to-day basis with these kids that we have a lot more communication with them. So I do feel like that the recruiting is going to be okay. It may slow down some guys. A guy the other night that committed actually said 'I wanted to come and do it in person, but that looks like that might be May or June now, so I can't wait that long. I need to do it now.' So we're recruiting as if it was February where it was a dead period and they can call you, they can FaceTime you, you be on Zoom with their family, but you can't contact them other than text or letter or email. So we're pretty much just going back to the same position that we were in February and continuing to recruit hard.”

Added Inside Carolina recruiting analyst Don Callahan, "Only two other programs have more commits than North Carolina, I think it is Florida and Ohio State. So obviously UNC, heading into this Coronavirus dead period, is already ahead of most everybody else, so it doesn't hurt them nearly as much as other schools because basically half their class is done. Whereas other schools are working on filling out three-fourths of their class or more."

Callahan said there are 17 prospects in the state of North Carolina that have a UNC offer and haven't committed anywhere. That includes top UNC targets like Will Shipley, Payton Page, Jahvaree Ritzie, Raneiria Dillworth, Kamarro Edmonds, Zaire Patterson, and Jared Wilson, among others.

The Tar Heels will spend this time focused on those in-state prospects.

But of course, like all schools, the Coronavirus has impacted UNC recruiting to some degree. It slows things down and postpones a lot of key visits and possible commitments. "There were some guys who had planned on making some crucial visits and they obviously were not or will not be able to take place -- these visits were actually scheduled and everything. But the same could be said for every program -- they all had crucial visits. I really believe that while you don't want to miss any visits or have any visits canceled like that, I believe UNC missed far less than other programs," Callahan explained.

Five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson was set to visit UNC along with four-star Florida wide receiver James BlackStrain, who was supposed to make his first visit to North Carolina this spring.

"Tymir Brown was supposed to visit, but he ended up committing regardless. Jahvaree Ritzie was supposed to visit a couple of times. He has visited countless times already so it's not like it is a huge miss, but obviously getting him on campus was going to further North Carolina's case," Callahan added.

Callahan said that for a prospect like Ritzie, who UNC feels good about, the spring was a chance for him to get some of the out-of-state visits out of his system. Now his recruitment schedule and plan is delayed.


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