The Tar Heels are on fire once again on the recruiting trail, despite the halting of in-person recruiting of prospects due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the second straight night, the Tar Heels landed a surprise commitment, this one a very welcome addition to the class.
Shortly before 9:00 PM on Wednesday evening, 2021 4✮ ATH DeAndre Boykins told Inside Carolina that he was committing to Carolina. Boykins, the rising senior at Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, NC, is a standout on both sides of the football, witnessed by his performance this past season. In nine games played this past season, he finished with 776 all-purpose yards and eleven total touchdowns, while racking up 48 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, three interceptions and three pass deflections, earning first team all-conference and All-Observer honors. His sophomore season provided similar results, as he finished with all-conference honors and earned special teams player of the year in the conference, as well.
Boykins gives the Tar Heels a player that could have a stable career at either running back or cornerback. If he plays corner, he will likely be best in a nickelback role, which will allow him to showcase his great closing speed and hard hitting ability in space. He is a strong enough tackler to make the plays that he needs to in the backfield and he has the speed to cover one-on-one if needed, although that is not a strength of his game. There is a legitimate chance he may be needed at running back, a spot where his physicality pays dividends. Similar to current Tar Heel running back Javonte Williams, Boykins low center of gravity works wonders as the fact that he isn’t afraid of contact either. He has solid speed that with the right blocking makes him dangerous and he has a knack to find open space if it’s given to him with his ball-carrier vision. Either way, Boykins is a valuable addition to this Tar Heel class.
With Boykins’ commitment, the Tar Heels now have eleven commitments in the 2021 class, ten of which hail from the state of North Carolina. Of the top fifteen prospects in the state in the class, eight are committed at this point, all but one of which is to Carolina. The class remains 4th overall and 2nd in the ACC in the 247Sports composite team rankings.