On Friday night, we headed back to Buford High School in Georgia for a look at another Tar Heel target on the 6A semifinalist Wolves. 2022 3✮ CB Ryland Gandy, who is one of the few 2022 targets to have taken a visit to campus, was our scoutee for the night as him and the Wolves looked to advance to 6A state championship game in their first season in the classification. A big offensive performance allowed them to pull away early and hold off a late charge from Valdosta to advance to next Tuesday's state championship game, as they look to take home their second straight state championship.
Gandy did not have his best game, however, in this one on Friday. He was targeted five times in the game and only allowed two catches, but both of those catches resulted in long touchdowns of 45+ yards. The first one was a quick slant throw against off-man coverage where he crashed and missed a tackle, leading to the long score. That wasn’t the concerning part of the night, though, for Gandy. He was beat over the top twice in the fourth, the final of which was for a 46-yard touchdown where he was simply out-run by the receiver. This definitely brings about a question as to whether or not he has the speed to keep up with some of the quicker receivers that he’ll have to face on the outside, but his best play of the night also came on a deep pass where he was able to stay with the wide receiver and get his head around at the last minute to make a play on the football.
The straight line speed is definitely something that I will go to his film for a look at, but there are some things to like about what Gandy showed the other night. He plays in a nearly exclusive man-coverage system, similar to what the Tar Heels secondary plays, so if he was to commit, the learning curve would be extremely minimal. Gandy is not one to shy away from helping in run defense and he has the physicality to shed blockers on the outside to make plays. His hips are quite as fluid as some of the other cornerbacks in this class, but they don’t make him a liability by any means.
Gandy and the Wolves have advanced on to the state title game on December 29th, as we mentioned, where they’ll face Lee County for the GHSA 6A State Championship. We’re going to take that as an opportunity to take a second look at Gandy to help us form a better opinion of his game. Prior to that, we will attempt to get our first look at 2022 4✮ PRO target Cade Klubnik.