CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina — From now on, North Carolina coach Larry Fedora won't have to worry about having fewer scholarships to hand out.
Fedora announced a class of 22 players Wednesday during signing day — the Tar Heels' last under NCAA sanctions that reduced the number of scholarships by 15 over three years.
Fedora says the sanctions meant "you can't make mistakes because it's affecting us depth-wise."
The Tar Heels seemed to do just fine with their limited numbers.
The recruiting services say North Carolina signed one of its best classes in recent years. Rivals.com rated it the 20th-best class in the nation while Scout.com had it pegged at No. 31.
The key signee is Charlotte running back Elijah Hood. The state's AP prep player of the year enrolled in January.
National rankings (Rivals 20; Scout 31).
Best in class: RB Elijah Hood (Charlotte, North Carolina) set Mecklenburg County records with 3,690 yards rushing and 53 touchdowns this season. He originally committed to Notre Dame but Fedora credits assistant coach Gunter Brewer with "staying on him. When he realized that, 'I don't have to go across the country to reach all my dreams and goals.' ... That was big."
Best of the rest: Fedora landed the son of NFL and former Wake Forest receiver Ricky Proehl. Fedora says WR Austin Proehl was "the most competitive guy on the field" at his summer camp and "you know his dad, you know what his dad has done. The kid's a gym rat."
Late addition: North Carolina picked up commitments last month from four-star OL Jared Cohen and three-star WR Devin Perry.
One that got away: None. Fedora says he locked up 20 of his 22 recruits before July 2013, didn't lose anyone to any signing-day drama and kept the class together despite a handful of departures from his coaching staff — most notably offensive coordinator Blake Anderson's move to Arkansas State head coach. "A lot of those guys committed. ... They weren't tied to a coach. They were tied to the university," Fedora said.
NOTE: Fedora has placed an emphasis on recruiting the state of North Carolina, and eight of his signees were from the state. He's landed North Carolina's past two AP prep players of the year in Hood and T.J. Logan. "Those eight guys from the state are actually seeing what's happening here in Chapel Hill. They see the future," Fedora said. "They understand what we're preaching and they're seeing it on the field and they're getting excited."
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