UNC Football: Tar Heels trending for 5-star CB Tony Grimes?

The UNC football program is trending for Tony Grimes, the nation’s No. 1-ranked cornerback.

The North Carolina Tar Heels were initially going to have to wait until December for an announcement from Tony Grimes, their top target in the class of 2021 and the nation’s No. 1-ranked cornerback. Instead, they’ll have to wait just one more week, as Grimes announced on Sunday afternoon that he’d be moving his commitment up by nearly six months to June 30.

It appears to be good news for the Tar Heels, who’ve picked up multiple Crystal Ball predictions from 247Sports experts over the past couple of days. National Recruiting Analyst Brian Dohn and Director of Football Recruiting Steve Wiltfong are among those favoring the Tar Heels in Grimes’ recruitment, and both have a very high level of confidence in their pick. 85.7 percent of predictions on the site now favor North Carolina, while second-place Georgia has the remaining 14.3 percent of votes.

That Dohn and Wiltfong are picking North Carolina is a good sign for Mack Brown and the Tar Heels, particularly since the two insiders have correctly predicted better than 90 percent of their picks all-time, and 98.9 percent for the class of 2021 (they’ve combined to miss on just four of 370 players).

Grimes is the No. 7 overall recruit in the nation, and first from the state of Virginia. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia named the Tar Heels among a list of eight finalists in early April. Shortly after, Grimes eliminated Clemson, Penn State, Tennessee and Virginia, leaving a list of four finalists that includes Georgia, Ohio State, Texas A&M and the Tar Heels.

“UNC has a great staff,” Grimes told 247Sports. “Coach Mack Brown is the only college coach right now in the Hall of Fame. He knows how to win. (Cornerbacks) coach (Dre) Bly played at a high level in college and the NFL, and he trained (NFLer) Stephon Gilmore on a regular basis. They have a top 10 business school as well. My connection with coach Dre Bly has grown and built since he got there.”

A commitment from a player of Grimes’ caliber — with his tremendous skill and athleticism — would only further solidify the fact that the Tar Heels have officially arrived on the college football scene. Not only would his size, strength, speed and football I.Q. help the Tar Heels on the field, but his status as an elite, top-10 recruit would pave the way for future blue chip prospects to choose North Carolina over the likes of college football’s perennial powerhouse programs. And right now, all signs point toward him being in Carolina Blue this time next year.

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Stick with Keeping It Heel for all the latest on the Tony Grimes recruitment, and everything UNC football.

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