Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Pick Up Third Straight Defensive Commitment in the 2023 Class


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The Tar Heels’ momentum in the 2023 class is officially rolling in arguably the most important month of this cycle. Following a commitment early in the week from 2023 3✮ LB Caleb LaVallee, the Tar Heels have picked a second commitment from a player from the state of Georgia that was on campus for an official visit last weekend.


On Saturday evening, 2023 3✮ CB Kaleb Cost announced via social media that he was committing to Mack Brown and the Tar Heels over Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and others. The commitment is one that will affect both the Tar Heel football and baseball programs with him being a dual offer. His commitment comes just one week after he was on campus for an official visit where he got to witness the environment on campus of the baseball program hosting a regional.


Cost, the No. 67 CB in the 2023 class according to 247Sports Composite player rankings, is getting set to enter his senior season at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, GA. As a junior, he played a major role on both sides of the football, finishing with 24 total tackles, three interceptions and five pass deflections on the defensive side of the ball, caught 20 passes for 429 yards and four touchdowns offensively and averaged 20.4 and 17.8 yards respectively on his kick and punt returns. He earned first team all-region at defensive back along with current Tar Heel summer enrollee Will Hardy and also took home all-state honorable mention in the 3A classification. Cost also played a major role for the team in a COVID-shortened season in 2020, but the full stats are unfortunately not available.


Cost will provide the Tar Heels with a versatile option on the back end of their defense in this class. In his junior tape, he spends the majority of his time at corner, but he does take reps at safety and did so a bunch on his sophomore tape. He looked really fluid in coverage and has the athleticism to cover 1-on-1 on the outside, which he does often on tape, mostly in man-to-man. The most underrated aspect of his game is his contributions as a run defender. He plays with a lot of physicality, which allows him to shed blocks and he makes running backs pay when he gets to the ball, and he thrives both out of the safety and corner spots as a run defender. He plays the ball well in 50/50 situations and his time spent on the offensive side of the ball certainly doesn’t hurt him here. His special teams ability is just an added bonus for him that could guarantee him some sort of early role, even if it isn’t as a returner. Finding his full-time position will be a big part of the transition for him, but this is a nice addition for Gene Chizik and Charlton Warren’s defense.


With the commitment, the Tar Heels class jumps from No. 46 overall in the 2023 class according to 247Sports Composite team rankings to No. 43 and jumps them over Miami into 8th in the ACC rankings in the class. This weekend is a little more subdued in terms of official visits for the Tar Heels, but this staff is feeling it heading into two extremely important weekends to close out the month of June.

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