Updated: May 16
The Tar Heels 2021 class has gone a month without landing a commitment, something that, believe it or not, is becoming concerning to fans after this class got off to a historic start. Those concerns won’t last too much longer, though, as a huge group of Tar Heel targets are set to make their decisions and narrow down their lists within the next month. Let's take a look at that group of top targets and what we expect them to do with their decisions.
5✮ CB Tony Grimes
The biggest prize remaining on the market for the Tar Heels will be narrowing down his list to his final three schools at the end month. According to multiple sources, the Tar Heels have gained some major momentum with the No. 1 cornerback in the 2021 class and as of right now are a shoe-in to be included in his final schools list when he releases it on May 31st. The thought is, as of right now, the Tar Heels may actually be the leader here because of just how strong the relationship between him and Tar Heel cornerbacks coach Dre Bly has become. The focus of the staff right now has to be on getting him to move his commitment date up from his currently scheduled December 1st decision date. This is the one race that the recruiting restrictions have actually helped the Tar Heels in and the staff will look to widen the margin before the dead period ends, one that has now been extended all the way through June 30th.
4✮ SDE Jahvaree Ritzie
We’ve been waiting a while for Ritzie’s commitment and now we have a date. Ritzie revealed on Monday that he will announce his commitment on June 12th, his parents' anniversary. The Tar Heels have been the long-time leader for him and as his decision has neared, that lead has become a stranglehold. So far, twelve crystal balls have cast for Ritzie, all of which are in favor of the Tar Heels. Although Tennessee has tried to make a push, this still seems like it will be a win at the end of the day for the Tar Heels. This would be a huge commitment for the class both on and off the field, as Ritzie is one of the most noticeable and influential members of this 2021 class.
4✮ WDE Zaire Patterson
This recruitment feels similar to Des Evans’ a year ago in the fact that it is extremely difficult to get any recruiting information from the Winston-Salem product. Patterson announced on Tuesday that he will be committing on May 26th and since that point, he has picked up two crystal ball predictions that have him heading to Clemson. The problem is, even Clemson insiders are uncertain about him. Meanwhile, current Tar Heel commits are feeling good about where the team stands heading into his commitment. The Tar Heels showed with the offer they extended to 3✮ WDE George Wilson, they are serious about landing another player at this position in this class. While Clemson is the favorite going into this commitment, there is a still time and the fact that current commits are confident is a promising sign.
3✮ WR J.J. Jones
Jones set his commitment date for August 5th this past Saturday, but quickly readjusted, moving it up to sometime within the next week. After South Carolina gained some momentum after they offered him back in early April, it appears the Tar Heels have taken full control of this battle and are on their way to landing a commitment from the Myrtle Beach, SC product. The biggest concern here, though, will come after his commitment. Jones gives off similar vibes to that of Trenton Simpson from the 2020 class, as it seems like he is holding out hope for a Clemson offer. If they extend one to him anytime before he signs and LOI with the Tar Heels there will likely always be a chance that he could flip to Clemson.