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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Add 3✮ DL to 2023 Class

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This weekend is the kickoff of high school football throughout the southeast with many members of the Tar Heels’ 2023 class in action. Amongst those in action this evening will be the latest commit, 3✮ DL Joshua Horton who announced his choice to join the class this afternoon.

Shortly before 3:45 PM, Horton posted his commitment on social media, choosing the Tar Heels over Auburn, Central Florida and others, completing the staff’s late charge in this one. Auburn was the longtime favorite for up until about a month ago when things started shifting towards the Tar Heels before becoming official today.

Horton is set to kick off his senior season at Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, GA tomorrow afternoon against Spartanburg High School, a team they welcome in from the state of South Carolina. Last year as a junior he finished with 81 total tackles, including 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks on his way to earning Region 4-AAAAAA honors. Prior to that as a sophomore back in 2020, he had 96 total tackles, 4.0 of which were for a loss and 3.0 of which were sacks. Even in his freshman season, he made a pretty sizable impact, registering 44 total tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss and 1.0 sack. He has been a part of helping build the Langston Hughes program into one of the top teams in the state over the past two years.

First things first, this is another guy that has that high motor this new staff is looking for. He has a quick get off from the line of scrimmage and utilizes the finesse moves about as well as anyone in this class on tape. He doesn’t show that physical edge as much as other defensive linemen in the class do, but when he had to show it he was able to. He isn’t nearly as polished as some of the other defensive linemen in this class and will have to show that more physical edge if he’s going to play on the interior of the line, but there is some nice upside here.

With the commitment, the Tar Heels class moves from 28th to 26th overall in the 247Sports Composite team rankings while remaining fifth in the ACC class rankings. The focus now shifts over to the decision of 3✮ WR Kevin Concepcion, who will decide between Carolina and NC State tomorrow afternoon, one that is currently seen as a “coin flip”.

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