Friday afternoon, one of the Tar Heels most important remaining targets in the 2021 class is set to make his decision. Via social media, 2021 3✮ OT Diego Pounds announced that he will reveal his college commitment tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM. The Tar Heels jumped into the running for Pounds back on August 4th after the decommitment of 2021 3✮ OG Jared Wilson and the belief going in is that the Tar Heels at least have a fighting chance to land his commitment.
The big, road-grading offensive tackle from Raleigh, NC would be a welcome addition for a Tar Heel offensive line that is looking to add more depth on the offensive line. Someone like Pounds who brings a physical edge and has the body type and playing style to play multiple positions along the offensive line is exactly what the team is looking to add to this class. The question now is, can they or did they enter the race for him too late?
Pounds will head into his decision with four finalists, Carolina, Penn State, Auburn and LSU. The Tar Heels were the last of the four to offer, so they’ll head into the recruitment at a little bit of a disadvantage in that department. However, Pounds has a good overall view of the team and the campus and his connection with the current Tar Heel commits is the strongest of any of the finalists’ classes. The Tar Heels have made a major push to put themselves in a strong spot as his commitment is set to be made.
The crystal balls told a much different story, though, that was until tonight. Heading into tonight, both 247Sports and Rivals saw the Nittany Lions as a heavy favorite. All five of 247Sports’ crystal balls are in favor of the Nittany Lions, although all five were cast back in August. However, Rivals also had all ten of their predictions going the way of James Franklin’s crew and all but two were cast within the last two weeks. On Thursday evening, however, Ryan Snyder of Blue White Illustrated, the official Rivals outlet of Penn State, flipped his prediction from Penn State to Carolina. On Friday morning, many of the experts on 247Sports and Rivals began flipping their predictions, including director of football recruiting for 247Sports Steve Wiltfong and Rivals national recruiting director Mike Farrell.
Since offering Pounds back in early August, the Tar Heels have made a strong push in his recruitment and have given themselves a fighting chance down the stretch. He has spent a lot of the fall around plenty of in-state Tar Heel commits and has developed a nice relationship that likely has involved some recruiting along the way. Even with this, there were concerns since his offer that he felt a little slighted by the Tar Heels because of how long they held off, but it seems as if Pounds has been able to shake that thought off. The Tar Heels have done everything they can in the last month and a half and we'll take a risk and say the Tar Heels' push is enough to give them their second offensive lineman in the class.
Prediction: North Carolina