The commitment of Daylen Everette to Clemson was, without a doubt, a loss on the recruiting trail that stung. Since that miss, though, the Tar Heels have landed two commitments from players ranked inside the top 150 prospects in the country according to 247Sports Composite rankings.
Shortly after 5:00 PM on the east coast, Cheeks announced his commitment to the Tar Heels over Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas and Oregon via social media. Cheeks, the No. 15 outside linebacker in the 2022 class and the No. 4 in the state of Illinois, is set to enter his senior season at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, IL after a shortened junior season in the state of Illinois. He was named a first team all-state in Illinois by PrepRedZone and back on January 15th he committed to be an Adidas All-American.
Cheeks looks to be another great fit at linebacker for this Jay Bateman defensive system. His play speed on film is simply fantastic, as he is able to cover sideline-to-sideline no problem and is a problem for offensive lineman when he is in space. There is a lot to like about the way that he plays in space, both as a tackler and in coverage and he always seems to find himself around the football. At 6’3, 210 lbs., he fits the mold of the versatile inside linebackers that the Tar Heels are wanting in the system and should have to add much weight to be able to come in and play some sort of role early. The depth here isn’t as strong as it is at other positions right now either, so there is a legitimate chance that Cheeks could come in an establish some sort of rotational role early on based on the talent and skillset that he brings to the table.
With the commitment, the Tar Heels 2022 class moves into the top 20 of the 247Sports Composite team rankings for the first time in this cycle. The Tar Heels jump from 24th to 17th overall on the site and also leap over the Boston College Eagles in the class rankings and now sit 4th in the ACC rankings. Not a bad way to recover from the miss of Everette.