UNC Basketball Coaches Dial Up Dual-Sport Sensation

Kendre' Harrison is already on the UNC football wishlist, and a UNC basketball offer appears within reach.
UNC basketball mascot Rameses
UNC basketball mascot Rameses / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Among the handful of 2026 recruits who have heard from the UNC basketball staff across this opening weekend of college coaches reaching out to rising high school juniors directly, one might not even play basketball beyond his prep career. That athlete is Reidsville High School (N.C.) forward Kendre' Harrison, the No. 1 tight end in the country but also No. 26 overall on the 2026 ESPN 60 for hoops.

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Harrison, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound intimidator on the court who has shattered more than one backboard in high school, heard from the staff in Chapel Hill on Saturday, Rivals' David Sisk reported.

However, Harrison has spoken to Hubert Davis and his assistants several times. As a sophomore, he took unofficial visits to check out both the UNC football and basketball programs, attending a relatively long list of big-time Tar Heel matchups on the gridiron and in the Smith Center.

Despite the presumption among some major recruiting sites and Harrison's football suitors that he won't be a college hoopster, he continues to reiterate in interviews that he wants schools to recruit him for both sports.

So, perhaps the UNC basketball recruiters' consistent interest in Kendre' Harrison will ultimately pay off in more than ways than one for the Tar Heels, facing a daunting collection of top-shelf football programs in hot pursuit of his coveted tight end services.

After all, a similar experiment or two has proven to work in Chapel Hill, most notably in the form of 2000 Final Four forward and legendary defensive end Julius Peppers.

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Matt Giles

MATT GILES

Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on SI.com.