The Tar Heels welcomed in 2021 4✮ SDE Keeshawn Silver for a visit on Tuesday, but what happened while he was in Chapel Hill was something almost no one saw coming. After attending the Tar Heel basketball team’s win on senior night over Wake Forest, Silver, the No. 8 strongside defensive end in the 2021 class, announced via social media that he had committed to Carolina. The Tar Heels land his services over Florida, Alabama and Georgia among others.
Last season, as a junior at Rocky Mount High School in Rocky Mount, NC, Silver finished with 47 total tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss and a team-leading 7.0 sacks as he landed all-conference honors. The year prior, as a sophomore, Silver played in seven games, registering 31 total tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in the limited action. Silver will enter his senior season one of the favorites to take home the Big East 3A Defensive Player of the Year honors for the first time in his career and all conference honors for the second consecutive season.
Silver’s film is impressive, starting with the acceleration that he has off the line of scrimmage, which allows him to have the advantage over slower offensive tackles and offensive guards. The work he did against guards was particularly impressive and the work that he did with better leverage makes him a perfect fit as a 4i-tech defensive end, the spot he’ll likely play. He is not afraid of getting physical, especially at the point of attack on both the defensive side of the football and as a tight end on offense. That physicality hasn’t been needed much so far on the defensive side of the football at the prep level, but will have to be utilized more often at the college level. Silver’s basketball background shines, as he constantly gets in passing lanes if he is not able to get to the quarterback. He will likely have to add a little more weight when he arrives on campus, but he has a solid frame for that 4i-tech defensive end role. This is a significant addition for the Tar Heels that will have a chance to make an impact when he arrives, especially if he continues to develop.
Silver’s commitment adds another headliner, as he becomes the top commitment for the Tar Heels in the 2021 class. The Tar Heels have now landed five of the top 15 players in the state of North Carolina in the class and six total commits in the class, all of which are in-state players. The Tar Heels 2021 class now climbs to 8th in the 247Sports Composite team rankings and 3rd in the ACC.