Friday night, the focus around Tar Heel football was fully on a crucial matchup with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons that lingers on Saturday in Winston-Salem. That focus shifted abruptly, though, with a major decommitment in the 2023 class.
The Tar Heels lost their second-highest-rated commit in the class in 4✮ EDGE Rico Walker, who announced his recruitment was opening once again via social media earlier this evening before removing it. However, since then, he has been retweeting and liking posts from national media members confirming the news. Walker committed to the Tar Heels back in mid-July following a June full official visits, including on at the end of the month to Chapel Hill that officially set the table for his decision.
This decision is a confusing one to say the least. Walker has visited Chapel Hill multiple times this season and it doesn’t appear as if he has visited anywhere else so far this season. The success that fellow finalist Tennessee has had this season is noteworthy, though, and could certainly be a reason why he is taking some time to step back and reevaluate things.
With his decommitment, the Tar Heels class drops from 19th to 21st in the 247Sports Composite team rankings and now is without one of the cornerstones of this class. The good news is that the team still has two edge rushers committed to the class, including their top commit in the class, Jaybron Harvey, but Walker was a guy who played with the physical edge that this team desperately needs on the defensive front.
This loss certainly isn’t a death blow to the Tar Heels class, but it is definitely an impactful loss. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any clear answers as to what exactly led to this decision, but hopefully things will become a bit more clear over the next few days as to where exactly this is heading and why.