Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Land Third Straight Commit from the State of Virginia


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The Tar Heels have done a tremendous job in the last two years recruiting the state of Virginia. Earlier this afternoon, the team landed their third straight commitment in the 2023 class from the state and the thirteenth commitment in the last two years from there.

Just after 4:00 PM EST on Monday, 2023 4✮ LB Kaveion Keys announced his commitment to the Tar Heels over Penn State, Virginia Tech and others. Keys was expected to reveal his decision on Saturday afternoon, but instead chose to push the decision back to at least Monday after an offer from Texas A&M on Wednesday to rethink some things. After a couple of days of rethinking, Keys went ahead and set his decision for Monday on Friday morning and went with the Tar Heels, the team that made a push for him over the last month after it looked like Penn State was in control of this one.


Keys, the No. 25 linebacker in the 2023 class according to 247Sports Composite player rankings, kicked off his senior season at Varina High School in Richmond, VA helped lead the Blue Devils to a 35-0 win over fellow powerhouse Hopewell with a big night on both sides of the ball. Last year, Keys as a junior earned All-Metro honors from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, finishing with 70 total tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss and 11.0 sacks while helping lead Varina to the VHSL 6A state title.


Keys’ film will show you exactly why he was such a major priority for this staff. He is a freakish athlete who plays wide receiver for his high school and does so at a pretty high level. He has tremendous speed that allows him to play sideline-to-sideline and cause major issues for tackles when he rushes the passer. Combine that with his high motor and he is simply all over the field making plays. He looks natural dropping into coverage, as you would expect with his receiver background. He plays off of instincts, which is more of what this defense needs in its linebackers. He will likely have to add a little weight to his frame, but he could be a perfect fit for this defense’s JACK position once he arrives to Chapel Hill. If he arrives early, he could have a major impact starting next year.


With the commitment, the Tar Heels class now sits with eighteen commitments as they continue to close in on a full class. The commitment moves them back to No. 20 in the cycle’s overall rankings according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings and helps them remain with the 4th ranked class in the ACC.

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