For the first time since late February, the Tar Heels have landed a commitment on the football recruiting trail. After announcing on Tuesday night that he would make his commitment along with the reveal of his final three, 2022 4✭ EDGE Beau Atkinson announced his commitment to Mack Brown and the Tar Heels over the Miami Hurricanes and Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday evening as part of a Rivals special. It seems that Atkinson was waiting on the offer from the Tar Heels, his commitment comes after he was offered by the staff back on June 4th.
Atkinson, who is a two-time All-State and All-Conference performer heads into his senior season off of a strong junior season in spring. He earned first team All-CAP 7 and was named the CAP Conference Player of Year behind a season where he finished with 40 total tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks and three pass deflections. That followed a tremendous sophomore season where he earned all-conference honors once again leading a Leesville Road team that went to the 4AA state final in tackles for loss (18.5) and sacks (9.0), and tallying 58 total tackles, a number that ranked fifth on the team. He will enter his senior season later this fall as one of the best returning pass rushers in the state of North Carolina.
Atkinson is the definition of a high motor guy. He plays every play with the same intensity as the last and has no problem chasing down plays from behind. He has a quick, smooth release off the line which allows him to establish leverage and combines that with solid speed, making him a terror for slower tackles. If tackles are able to handle him off the line of scrimmage, he has the physicality needed to still make plays and does a good job of shedding tackles. He has the size to make an immediate impact on the edge at 6’6, 240 lbs., especially if he enrolls early and can add to that frame. He’s not the most technical pass rusher, an area he will likely have to improve in against stronger, faster offensive tackles. Other than that, there is a lot to like about this extremely talented pass rusher.
This is another very solid edition to a 2022 class that is off to a strong start with four 4✭ players already committed to the class. With his commitment, it would appear that the Tar Heels are done at edge rusher in this class, one that is expected to be a smaller class that will likely be somewhere in the mid-teen in terms of number of signees. Atkinson is the second in-state commitment in the class, joining fellow 4✭ EDGE Malaki Hamrick. The class also sees a significant jump in the 247Sports Composite class rankings as they jump from No. 40 to No 27 overall and from No. 7 to No. 3 in the ACC.