With TreVeyon Henderson committing to Ohio State on Friday evening finishing up what has been a wild month on the 2021 trail for the Tar Heels, now is as good a time as ever to reset the list of the most important remaining targets in this class. The Tar Heels had a huge month for themselves, landing six commitments, including five of the state of North Carolina’s top players, and will look to continue that momentum even during these unprecedented times. Let’s look at the ten prospects that should be seen as the most important going forward for the Tar Heels
1. DT Payton Page- Dudley (Greensboro, NC)
With some of the Tar Heels top needs in the class already being addressed to some extent early one, Page has ascended to the top of this list. The extremely talented nose tackle has said that he is hoping to make his decision sometime before the start of his senior season, which is scheduled to start in mid-August right now. Right now, the Tar Heels are one of the favorites for his services along with national powerhouse Clemson and this is a battle that will likely go down to the end. Clemson will be hard to beat out, but the Tar Heels have come a long way since Mack Brown arrived on campus and Page would immediately be a major contributor for the Tar Heels at a position where they are still looking to add talent and depth.
2. ATH Kaemen Marley- Eastern Randolph (Ramseur, NC)
Marley is a special athlete that can do so many things, making him an attractive piece for the Tar Heels. Marley’s recruitment has been a quiet one, but the feeling as of right now is the Heels are the early favorites to land his commitment. His commitment would be a huge addition for the Tar Heels, considering he could be used at a variety of positions that are needed by the Tar Heels in this class. Both the tight end position and running back position are spots the Tar Heels are looking to fill in this class and both spots Marley has the skill sets to succeed at. If he is needed on the defensive side, he has the size to play linebacker, but will fit best at safety. Because of how many different things he can do, Marley is one of the most valuable prospects left in this class.
3. CB Tony Grimes- Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, VA)
In terms of pure talent, Grimes might be the best player on this list, but the Tar Heels are actually already in solid shape at the cornerback position in terms of depth. Still, with Grimes’ talent and the Tar Heels current standing with him, it’s hard not to put him near the top of the list. While the Tar Heels aren’t the favorite at this point, Grimes’ recruitment is still pretty wide open and many major recruiting analysts believe that the Tar Heels have caught the attention of both Grimes and his family. While it’s seen as a bit of a longshot, the Tar Heels should continue to push to land arguably the best defensive player in the 2021 class.
4. RB Kamarro Edmonds- Havelock (Havelock, NC)
With DeAndre Boykins committed, the Tar Heels aren’t in as dire need of a running back as they were before his commitment, but this still remains a position of need at the moment. Edmonds is a talented running back who would be able to make noise next season if needed and the good for the Tar Heels is they are in a very solid position with him as of right now. An LSU offer has fans a bit nervous, but this is a prospect that, at the moment, looks to really like what he’s seeing from Carolina. If they are wanting to use Boykins on the defensive side of the football, this becomes even more important.
5. ATH Bryce Steele- Episcopal (Alexandria, VA)
Steele has been closing in on a commitment for a while and many believe that the Tar Heels are firmly in the driver’s seat. With that and the fact that he fits the mold of a player that can be used in a couple of different places in this defense, he checks in pretty high on this list. The Tar Heels are still in desperate need of linebacker depth and Steele has the body style and nose for the football to succeed out of a linebacker position, but also has the range and coverage ability to play safety, as well. Until he actually commits, though, he needs to remain a primary target in this class.
6. APB Will Shipley- Weddington (Weddington, NC)
Many were of the belief that the Tar Heels were out of this race, but the recent commitments of Gavin Blackwell and Drake Maye have changed this race a lot. While Clemson and Notre Dame are still the favorites here, the Tar Heels have made up some ground to give themselves a fighting chance and Henderson’s commitment will allow the Tar Heels to put even more focus on the player that is ranked as the top prospect in the state. Shipley has been compared to Christian McCaffrey by many and the Tar Heels would love to add that to a backfield that will be looking to rebuild in 2021.
7. ILB Dameon Wilson- Kings Mountain (Kings Mountain, NC)
Inside linebacker is still a major position of need for the Tar Heels in this class and Wilson is the one pure inside linebacker target left in this class. The Tar Heels were seen as the favorites to land Wilson’s commitment right now and his teammate Kobe Paysour’s commitment has only strengthened that belief. With Chazz Surratt leaving after the season and a thin group behind him, the Tar Heels need to lock this one up along with Steele.
8. OT Logan Taylor- Episcopal (Alexandria, VA)
Just like his teammate, Taylor seems to be closing in on a commitment to Carolina sometime in the near future. The Tar Heels are not in bad shape at the tackle position, but offensive tackle is a position where you can never have too many bodies and a spot where the team is still looking to add talent. This is another recruitment that the Tar Heels should be hoping to close down soon and land a commitment out of as they look to strengthen their pipeline in the state of Virginia.
9. SDE Jahvaree Ritzie- Glenn (Kernersville, NC)
The Tar Heels have carried over their momentum from a phenomenal 2020 class on the defensive line to this class, already landing Keeshawn Silver. Ritzie is still a major target, but the Tar Heels are already loaded at the defensive end position, pushing him down the list of priorities. The Tar Heels are locked in a fierce battle with NC State for his services and the Tar Heels should still be pushing to land one of the top defensive players in the state to continue to build the hold they have on the state of North Carolina.
10. WR Micah Crowell- East Forsyth (Kernersville, NC)
The Tar Heels have already landed two of their top wide receiver targets in the 2021 class, but haven’t yet gotten the size they’ve needed on the outside just yet. This was a tough decision, but Crowell is the choice here because of the fact that he holds the slight edge in pure talent. With three wide receivers guaranteed to leave and Dyami Brown entering the season with a chance to put himself in a spot to get drafted next year, the Tar Heels still need to add at least one more receiver in this class to feel comfortable. It’s early in Crowell’s commitment, so now is the time to make a nice impression, something that shouldn’t be difficult at all to do with the success the staff is having.