Class of 2021 cornerback Tony Grimes is set to announce his college decision on Tuesday, June 30th. The five-star product out of Virginia Beach is down to three schools: Georgia, Texas A&M, and North Carolina. While Grimes has announced these three programs as the finalists, he had a plethora of options. Grimes was offered by 41 schools, among them powerhouses like Alabama, LSU, Clemson, and Ohio State. According to the 247 Composite, Grimes is ranked as the 7th best overall player in the country, the #1 cornerback, and the #1 player in the state of Virginia.
North Carolina has been involved in this recruitment for several years now, dating back to when Larry Fedora was still Head Coach. While the Tar Heels were never perceived to have much of a chance to land the coveted defensive back, they have gained significant steam within the last year under Mack Brown.
The Tar Heels have put together quite the 2021 Recruiting Class thus far, ranking #4 in the nation in the 247 Composite. It seems as though the talent that would be potentially surrounding Grimes as well as his connection with UNC defensive back coach Dre Bly, who was also a star player from the Tidewater region in Virginia, has caused him to strongly consider the Tar Heels.
Grimes had some nice words to say about Bly this past spring. “I love Dre,” . “He knows where we came up from, and how hard it is because he did it. He was ‘The Man’ at UNC. He went to UNC. In the Hall Fame, Pro Bowl, Super Bowl. I love Dre.” Grimes believes in the winning reputation and accolades of Brown as well. “Coach Mack Brown is the only college coach right now in the Hall of Fame. He knows how to win.”
While he was originally planning to announce his decision in December, Grimes recently moved the date up to June 30th. Since this change in plans was announced, several Crystal Ball predictions have been made for Grimes to UNC. Among these were 247 Director of Football Recruiting Steve Wiltfong, who has correctly predicted 280/282 recruits in the 2021 class. The 247 Crystal Ball now has Tony Grimes to UNC at a 100% chance.
It seems very possible that Grimes will be a Tar Heel. What would this mean for the program? It could be the first step Mack Brown’s team takes in unseating Clemson as the powerhouse of the ACC. As good as UNC’s recruiting has been the last two years, they have yet to land a player like Grimes, a consensus top 10 player and five-star recruit. Once you start to sign those types of players, and sign them over the Clemsons of the world, you put yourself in a position to surpass the Clemsons of the world.
At the very least, Tony Grimes would be an instant impact and infusion of talent for North Carolina. A true lockdown corner has the ability to make every single defensive player better around him. Bly had this instant impact when he committed to UNC over two decades ago. At best, landing Grimes could play a big role in laying the foundation to establish the Tar Heels as a premier program of the ACC and a true national contender. June 30th will be a big day for UNC Football.
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