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No. 7 Jalek Felton commits to UNC

The North Carolina Tar Heels are off to an early start with their 2017 class, as they landed a commitment from top-10 high school sophomore Jalek Felton.

Felton, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, is the nephew of former North Carolina star Raymond Felton.

"It's been a dream of his for a long time," said Fred Cannon, Felton's AAU coach with Team Felton. "It's all he's ever talked about. He sees it as more of a legacy-type thing.

"He's a fan of Roy Williams and the coaching staff, the up-tempo style, guard-oriented. It made him feel comfortable."

Felton had scheduled visits to Kansas, Wichita State, Kentucky and Arizona for January -- but those won't be happening. Cannon said those trips were only planned for Felton to make sure North Carolina was his preferred choice.

"He just knew in his heart that [North Carolina] is where he wanted to go," Cannon said. "He's not making an irrational decision. This is something he felt strongly about."

Felton is among the elite players in the Class of 2017, ranking as the No. 7 overall prospect and No. 1 shooting guard in the country.

There are still plenty of things to play out for North Carolina's recruiting over the next couple of years, as the Tar Heels have only one commitment in 2015 and no commitments in 2016.

However, Felton's ability to play different roles means he won't have a problem regardless of the roster composition.

"The main thing that he brings to the table is he can play on the ball and off the ball," Cannon said. "By 2017, if they get someone to play the one, he can be just as efficient playing the 2-guard. Or if he has to play the 1, he's effective there, too."

Recently, there have been questions about North Carolina's recruiting prowess going forward because of academic issues within the athletic department. Felton and his family discussed the matter, but he wasn't wavering: Chapel Hill was his destination.

"He wanted to go there, regardless of what happens," Cannon said. "It's his dream."