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White one of two Tar Heels in McDonalds All-American Game

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At least two future Tar Heels will participate in Wednesday evening’s McDonald’s All-American Game, which features 24 of the nation’s top senior high school basketball players. 

Wilson’s own Coby White, a Greenfield School senior, will suit up in the No. 0 jersey for the East squad, though he will be playing on the wing rather than at point guard, which is where he may start his UNC career. 

Despite playing his prep ball in Florida, Nassir Little will wear No. 10 for the geographically-challenged West squad (no word yet on whether Little intends to follow Michael Jordan’s footsteps and major in geography at UNC). Little also took part in last night’s dunk contest, finishing behind Zion Williamson.

Reports out of the first day of practices have been positive about each, with Little’s physicality and athleticism standing out even among other top players and White’s shooting stroke living up to its billing.

Carolina’s remaining target, 6-foot-10 power forward E.J. Montgomery (Marietta, Ga.), will play on the East team. Other contenders for Montgomery’s services include Kentucky, Duke, Vanderbilt, Clemson, and Georgia. 

Carolina lacked a representative in the game last year, and Tony Bradley was the lone UNC player in the 2016 game.

The game will air live on ESPN at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

ROBERT GILLESPIE JOINS FOOTBALL STAFF

Following the sudden departure of longtime wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer to the Philadelphia Eagles — where he has been reunited with former Tar Heel Mack Hollins — head coach Larry Fedora officially announced the hiring of Robert Gillespie to take the open spot on the staff.

Gillespie, a former Florida Gators running back, will coach the position he played, while Luke Paschall will take Brewer’s role coaching the receivers. Widely regarded as an up-and-comer with a bright future, Gillespie coached running backs at Tennessee last year (on the same staff with fellow UNC assistant Tommy Thigpen) and has previously coached at Oklahoma State and West Virginia. 

“He has a well-earned reputation as a great offensive coach and recruiter, and he has a wealth of experience working with running backs at a very high level,” Fedora said in the release announcing the hire. “We are happy to have him join our staff as we get into the bulk of spring practice.”

Thanks to his deep recruiting ties across the southeast, Gillespie’s hire should pay immediate dividends in recruiting, and his experience in multiple spread systems similar to the one Carolina runs should help him provide a fresh and valuable perspective in offensive meetings.

AUSTIN PROEHL PUTS ON A SHOW

Former Tar Heel wide receiver Austin Proehl stole the show at Saturday’s NFL Regional Combine in Tampa, drawing rave reviews for his footwork and natural hands. At 5-10, Proehl will be limited to the slot in the NFL, but his excellent route-running, quickness, and reliability put him in a competitive position to potentially make an NFL roster.

STAT OF THE WEEK

There are now seven former Tar Heel lettermen on the UNC football staff: tight ends coach Chad Scott, safeties coach Tommy Thigpen, strength and conditioning assistant A. J. Blue, defensive quality control coach Shakeel Rashad, and graduate assistants Jeff Schottmer and Quinshad Davis.

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