UNC Football: Tony Grimes will join Tar Heels for fall semester

Tony Grimes has reclassified to the class of 2020, and will join the UNC football program in the fall semester.

Tony Grimes is officially a Tar Heel. A 5-star prospect and formerly the No. 1 cornerback in the class of 2021 reclassified to the 2020 class on Thursday, and will join the North Carolina football program this fall.

UNC head coach Mack Brown was among those to publicly celebrate Grimes’ early enrollment. So, too, were many of Brown’s assistant coaches, as well as current players and incoming recruits.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Tony Grimes to our program,” Brown said. “While we would have loved for Tony to have been able to play his senior season, he made the decision to reclassify because he thought it was best for him and his family. As a player, Tony is one of the best defensive backs we’ve ever recruited and one of the nation’s top players regardless of class. He’ll have to come in and compete with a group of talented players, but we feel like he’ll have a positive impact on our program. Tony is also a great young man. He’s had the spotlight on him for a long time and he carries himself with class. He’s also an outstanding student, which shows when you consider he was able to graduate from high school a year early. We’re excited to officially welcome Tony and his family to Chapel Hill.”

Prior to his commitment to North Carolina, 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, he eliminated Clemson, Penn State, Tennessee and Virginia, leaving a list of four finalists that included Georgia, Ohio State, Texas A&M and UNC. June 30th marked that day that Grimes announced his pledge to the University of North Carolina, and his plans to enroll early followed soon after.

Since his move to the class of 2020, Grimes has been ranked No. 48 overall by 247Sports, fifth among players at his position and No. 1 in the state of Virginia. ESPN, on the other hand, ranks Grimes much more favorably at No. 6 in the class of 2020, while Rivals has him at No. 13. Both have tabbed him as the top cornerback in the class, and the No. 1 prospect in the state of Virginia.

Next: Sam Howell named to another preseason watch list

Check back with Keeping It Heel for all the latest on Tony Grimes and the UNC football program.