The Tar Heels have put together one of their best recruiting class in recent memory and on Thursday they will hope to add a key player in the trenches to that class. 2022 5✮ OT Zach Rice announced back on October 9th that he was setting his commitment for this Thursday, one that the Tar Heels should want desperately, especially with the struggles that the team has had in the trenches this season. Landing Rice would go a long way towards helping add the type of talent that the Tar Heels need to take the next step and are currently lacking right now.
Rice’s mother posted on Tuesday morning that the commitment will take place at 8:15 PM on Thursday after it was originally scheduled for 7:30 PM. The announcement will be streamed live on CBS Sports HQ and will take place at the Liberty Christian Academy gymnasium.
The Tar Heels are one of five teams that are officially set to be a part of the decision on Thursday along with the in-state Virginia Cavaliers, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Ohio State Buckeyes. This is one recruitment that the experts haven’t really been able to get a strong read on for the majority of the time, but it appears that this will likely come down to the South’s Oldest Rivalry on the recruiting trail. Rice took an official visit to Virginia back in June, but, while it wasn’t an official visit, his most recent visit was to the Tar Heels game in Kenan Stadium against Virginia, a visit that he appeared to enjoy with what he posted on social media. The Tar Heels have appeared to be in a solid position for him nearly the entire way, but so has Virginia, who seems to be neck-and-neck with them down the stretch of this recruitment. Rice is rumored to have yet to inform either of those two sides of his decision, which means that both sides will likely go into the decision rather blind.
The experts seem to be relatively in the dark on this one heading in. There are currently only two forecasts between the two major recruiting sites ahead of his announcement, including no 247Sports crystal balls. The two Rivals FutureCast are significant ones from Adam Friedman and Mike Farrell, but both of those are nearly a month and a half old now. The one thing that is interesting that has been pointed out by a few people, though, is that the decision will be made on the birthday of Virginia offensive line coach, Garett Tujague, something that is certainly notable in a recruitment as tight as this one.
This is one commitment that the Tar Heels would certainly love to have in this 2022 class, but heading in, this is far from a guarantee. Right now it appears that unless something major changes, this will be a commitment where the decision will be up in the air heading in.