Braeden Heald is from Des Moines, IA, but will play his high school football this fall in North Hampton, MA.
It certainly wasn’t part of the original plan for Heald, a wide receiver who camped at UNC in June. Heald suffered an injury last fall that wrecked his senior season and any chance of landing a scholarship, so he and his family decided he should prep at Williston North Hampton.
In the process, Heald went from a class of 2017 prospect to a 2018 one. But he’s okay with that, this is something he believed was necessary. And given his performance in Chapel Hill, he’s likely to generate some attention in the next several months from bigger programs than he already has.
“Last year, I had the opportunity to play Division III football but my head just wasn't there so that's in part why I decided to do the PG year,” Heald told THI. “With the PG year coming up, I have been talking to a few northeastern and east coast FCS schools like Holy Cross, Fordham, Elon and then a little bit of Ivy interest with Princeton and Brown.”
What makes Heald relevant to UNC’s recruiting is that he did perform very well in June, but also he’s a candidate to walk on at Carolina. UNC’s success with walk ons, particularly at wide receiver with Mack Hollins and rising senior Thomas Jackson inspire prospects such as Heald.
“I absolutely am on the same page with the opportunity to walk on,” he said.
He spoke with wide receiver coach Gunter brewer and tight ends coach Chad Scott after his camp session, which was June 8, and they told him they liked some things about his game.
“Coach Scott told me he would put in a good word,” Heald said.
At 5-10 and 1 75 pounds, Heald may not get any Power 5 offers, but neither did Hollins or Jackson, so you never know. He’s worth keeping an eye on, and if there’s an opportunity to walk on at UNC, he just might take it.