Tuesday is the first day that coaches can officially privately talk with 2025 recruits and the Tar Heels are wasting no time getting a jump on building the class. The team already has a commit from one of the top players in the state of North Carolina in the form of 2025 4✮ QB Bryce Baker and they added another big name in-state prospect to the fold today.
Earlier this afternoon, 2025 3✮ ATH Gus Ritchey announced his commitment to Carolina over NC State, Duke and others while joining the ‘Noon Dish’ podcast with Tommy Ashley and Don Callahan. Ritchey just visited Chapel Hill again over the weekend for the Carolympics recruiting get together to close the month of July. That visit was Ritchey’s seventh to campus, including five in three this summer alone.
Ritchey is preparing for his junior season at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, NC. This past season as a sophomore, he had an outstanding showing on both sides of the ball. Defensively, he finished with 61 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. Meanwhile, he finished with 495 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a tight end for the Chargers. He was also a starter for the team as a freshman along the defensive line.
With Tim Cross as his primary recruiter, it is hard to see a scenario where Ritchey doesn’t play somewhere in the defensive front. There is a lot to like about a guy like him that can live in the backfield like he has done in his first two years of high school. He has a nice release off the line of scrimmage and does a good job of using his length off the edge. His ability to get off of blocks might be his best attribute and is something that this defensive line simply hasn’t been able to do enough of since that 2019 season. His athleticism is good, not great, but he is still able to chase down plays in the backfield to make plays. He isn’t bothered by physicality, a good sign for someone of his size, who you wouldn’t expect to see have success in those situations. With so much time left in high school career, there is plenty of time for him to grow and build on what is already a pretty high ceiling for him.
With the commitment, the Tar Heels now have two commitments from top ten in-state prospects in the 2025 class, the same amount that the team has right now in the 2024 cycle. It is still early, but this is a tremendous start for the team on that 2025 trail.