For the first time in over two months, the Tar Heels have added a commitment in the 2021 recruiting class. Friday afternoon, via social media, 2021 3✮ OT Diego Pounds announced his commitment to Mack Brown and the Tar Heels over Penn State, Auburn and LSU. The Tar Heels were looking for a new addition on the offensive line after a decommitment earlier this summer and have found just that in Pounds.
Pounds, the 6’6, 305 lbs. offensive tackle from Raleigh, NC, is entering his senior season with the Wildcats and his third year as a starter at offensive tackle. Last year, as a junior, Pounds made the move over to left tackle from right, while also seeing his playing time cut down on the defensive side of the football to allow him to put more focus on fine tuning himself on the offensive side of the ball. Pounds helped lead the way for 1,000-yard rusher Jaden Patterson a year ago, while also helping the Wildcats average 163.8 yards per game on the ground on the way to a 4AA state playoff appearance.
Pounds already has the size needed to play at the college level, but as the tape shows, he is a technically sound prospect, as well. The most notable thing about him is his hand placement, as he is able to consistently get his hands inside on defensive ends, which allows him to control the opposing player with ease and push him around. His athleticism is a bit surprising, as he looks good in pull blocking situations and is a wrecking ball if he can get to the second level against the smaller linebackers and secondary players. His pass protection skills are impressive, as he is able to simply wall off pass rushers after anchoring himself. Pounds has nice lateral movement and isn’t beat often, but there are still some things that will have to be cleaned footwork wise for him. There is a lot to like about Pounds' game already and if the Tar Heels can continue to build him in the weight room, he could become a player similar to what Joshua Ezeudu is right now for the Tar Heels.
Pounds’ commitment means the Tar Heels’ 2021 class is now at seventeen commits, thirteen of which hail from in-state (Kobe Paysour moved to South Carolina for senior season). With the commitment, the Tar Heels 2021 class is now ranked No. 11 overall in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings. The class remains 3rd in the ACC rankings in cycle.