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National Signing Day Preview

National Signing Day will confirm one of the most impressive classes in Tar Heel history. It offers momentum to a program that keeps moving forward.

Tomorrow is an important for the North Carolina football program. Following the completion of solid regular season campaign and the biggest win in recent history, December 16 marks National Signing Day. Excitement for this date has increased each of the last three years since Mack Brown has made his return to Chapel Hill.

This 2021 class is one of the best that UNC has ever seen. According to ESPN rankings, the Tar Heels will be adding 13 four-star recruits and one five-star. It is rated as the best recruiting class for UNC in over a decade. There are 18 total players expected to sign tomorrow.

It’s a very athletic and defensive class. For the second straight year the highest rated Tar Heel recruit is a defensive end. In the 2020 class that was Desmond Evans, and this time around it’s Keeshawn Silver. The Glenn High School prospect will pair well with another one of the highest rated DEs in the class Jahvaree Ritzie. UNC also adds a tremendous amount of speed in the linebacking corps with the pair of RaRa Dillworth and Power Echols.

The highest rated offensive commit is standout quarterback Drake Maye, who with Keeshawn Silver has been one of the team’s best player recruiters.

There are also a number of players in the 2021 class who are still considering UNC. Those players will be discussed in an article later this week.

Full List of Verbal Commits:

Keeshawn Silver, DE/Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount, NC) – Consensus five-star defender who will have the ability to play multiple positions on the defensive line. He will look to get playing time his first year on campus. Silver also wishes to be a two-sport athlete at UNC by playing basketball as well. Overall Rankings: ESPN #8, 247Sports #32

Drake Maye, QB/Myer Park (Charlotte, NC) – A pro-style quarterback that has climbed his way up rankings over the last year. Originally committed to Alabama, Maye flipped to UNC in March. Overall Rankings: ESPN #45, 247Sports #57

Raneiria ‘RaRa’ Dillworth, OLB/Glenn (Kernersville, NC) – One of the fastest linebackers in the class. Dillworth is adding to his frame, but has potential to be a ‘do-it-all’ athlete on the defensive side of the ball. Overall Rankings: ESPN #84, 247Sports #99

Power Echols, ILB/Vance (Charlotte, NC) – Led his team to a state championship in his sophomore season. He also possesses a tremendous amount of speed and versatility. Down the line he could be pair with Dillworth to have one of the fastest linebacking groups in the ACC. Overall Rankings: ESPN #154, 247Sports #126

Jahvaree Ritzie, DE/Glenn (Kernersville, NC) – A powerful strongside defensive end. Like Silver, Ritzie has the athleticism to move around the line for the best matchups. Overall Rankings: ESPN Four-Star, 247Sports #143

DeAndre Boykins, Athlete/Central Cabarrus (Concord, NC) – Has a chance to play either safety or running back in college but will most likely offer more on defense. Overall Rankings: ESPN #230, 247Sports #175

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Gavin Blackwell, WR/Sun Valley (Monroe, NC) – A pure receiver of the ball, Blackwell will need to add to his slim frame at the next level. He is a good route runner and knows the game. He also has played with quarterback Sam Howell in the past. Overall Rankings: ESPN #164, 247Sports #205

Gabe Stephens, Athlete/ Mountain Island Charter (Mount Holly, NC) – Played wide receiver d standup defensive end, the UNC coaching staff will need to tinker to find his best position. He is a fantastic athlete. Overall Rankings: ESPN Four-Star, 247Sports #228

Kamarro Edmonds, RB/Havelock (Havelock, NC) – An every-down back. Has great size for the position, is very strong, quick, and is a good receiver out of the backfield. He needs to improve is overall speed. He is the ideal type of back for Phil Longo’s offense. Overall Rankings: ESPN #223, 247Sports #248

Eli Sutton, OT/Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, TN) – A really long athlete that will greatly benefit from strength programs at UNC. He has tremendous potential as a pass blocker. Overall Rankings: ESPN Four-Star, 247Sports #255

Dontavius Nash, Safety/Hunter Huss (Gastonia, NC) – A tall safety and strong safety. He has good ball skills as he also played wide receiver. Overall Rankings: ESPN #258, 247Sports #279

Bryson Nesbit, TE/South Mecklenburg (Charlotte, NC) – A late addition to the class, the 6’6” tight end committed this month. He is still growing into his frame and has only played one year of high school football. He is a developmental prospect with a high ceiling as a receiving TE Overall Rankings: ESPN Three-Star, 247Sports #342

JJ Jones, WR/Myrtle Beach (Myrtle Beach, SC) – Another long athlete with ton of potential. He will only play two years of high school football before coming to UNC but was still very productive. He could be a great deep threat in his career. Overall Rankings: ESPN #261, 247Sports #397

Kobe Paysour, WR/Gaffney (Gaffney, SC) – He transferred to Gaffney in order to play his senior season. Shows a knack for making plays but does not have overwhelming size or speed. He will need to continue building on his breaks and route tree. Overall Rankings: ESPN , 247Sports #441

Diego Pounds, OT/Millbrook (Raleigh, NC) – A big, strong prospect that could play tackle or guard. He will need to continue to add strength. Overall Rankings: ESPN #261, 247Sports #473

Tymir Brown, Athlete/Jacksonville (Jacksonville, NC) – A running quarterback and defensive back in high school, he will likely play as an offensive skill player at UNC. He has good running abilities and speed. Overall Rankings: ESPN #206, 247Sports #483

Caleb Hood, Athlete/Richmond (Rockingham, NC) – A dual-threat quarterback at Richmond, Hood is planning to be a running back at UNC. He has added a lot of weight to his frame and shows good speed. Overall Rankings: ESPN Three-Star, 247Sports #691

Trevion Stevenson, DE/Phoebus (Hampton, VA) – One the in-between athletes that Jay Bateman covets. He isn’t quite a defensive end or outside linebacker but is a long athlete with pass rushing potential. Overall Rankings: ESPN Three-Star, 247Sports Three-Star