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Heel Tough Blog: 4✮ In-State Linebacker Set to Commit Tuesday

@jamesnesta3- Instagram

The Tar Heels' lack of success in the state of North Carolina on the 2024 recruiting trail has been one of the more frustrating aspects of this offseason. After a dominant four-year run in the state, the Tar Heels have landed just four players from the state this season. Of those four, none are ranked inside the top 600 in the class and only one sits in the top 20 in the state according to 247Sports. 

One of the team’s highest-rated targets in the state, 4✮ LB James Nesta, announced this evening that he will be committing to one of his final three schools tomorrow. The commitment will be revealed on social media at 7:00 PM EST. Nesta closed out his official visit schedule this past weekend with a trip to Oklahoma after stops in Chapel Hill and Miami in the prior two weeks.

Coming into the month, Miami appeared to hold a slight advantage in what was a close race, but that doesn’t look to be the case the night before his commitment. The Sooners seemingly knocked it out of the park with their official visit this weekend and are now in the catbird seat heading into tomorrow night. Six predictions have been cast for him today and all of them have been in favor of Brett Venables’ squad with high confidence levels.

If he was to commit to Oklahoma as expected tomorrow, that would be the twelfth player ranked inside the 20 in the state rankings to head out of state. This has been a growing issue for the Tar Heels starting with the 2023 class, but this is starting resemble where in-state recruiting was at in the Larry Fedora era.

The team is staring down the real possibility that they may not land a single top-15 player in the state, something that hasn’t happened since the 2016 class. That class was a big part of what eventually did in Fedora in 2017 and 2018 when the program won just five games in his final two seasons. That fence that Mack Brown had built up around the state in the first four years in Chapel Hill seems to be falling apart.


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