Jahvaree Ritzie, a four-star defensive end out of Glenn HS (Kernersville, NC), trimmed his list to five potential schools.
Those programs are North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Ohio State.
The 2021 prospect is one of the best defenders in the state andhas tremendous potential to be a run-stopper at the college level. Measuring at 6’4.5” and 274 pounds, he already possesses the size to play strongside defensive end at the next level.
A point of significant interest with Ritzie is that he is the teammate of recent UNC commit RaRa Dillworth. Following Dillworth’s commitment, the two shared an exchange on Twitter. Ritzie congratulated his teammate, who then responded by saying ‘join the fam’. While it seems Ritzie is intent on working through the recruiting process at his own pace, Carolina should have a major leg up with the pair of defenders teaming up for their senior years.
In a class that has been hyper focused on in-state talent, it would make sense the Carolina coaching staff has a lot of stock inRitzie. He has all the physical tools to be a consistent starter. The Tar Heels already have a loaded recruiting class, especially on the defensive side of the ball. That includes Keeshawn Silver, who is also listed as a strongside defensive end.
Silver, who plays for Rocky Mount, is also rated as a four-star prospect. However, given that Ritzie has about 40 pounds on Silver, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Glenn product play a more inside technique, or even take snaps at defensive tackle in different sets.
A recent comparison for Ritzie could be Jason Strowbridge, who was just taken by the Miami Dolphins in 2020 NFL draft on Saturday. They have a similar build, with Strowbridge being 6’4” 275 pounds, and they would most likely play the same role in Jay Bateman’s scheme. What Ritzie needs to work on to get to that level is his array of moves. Finesse is often needed in the pass rush, but one also needs the strength to hold up a run blocking tackle. Strowbridge also consistently shined with his quickness and athleticism, notably blocking four kicks during his time at North Carolina.
Strowbridge had a fantastic senior campaign in Chapel Hill, quickly becoming one of the best players on the team and most significant run stoppers in the ACC. The role of a strongside end is often an undervalued position by fans, but it becomes obvious when it’s gone. Versatility on the line is a something that grew through Strowbridge’s Tar Heel career, and it would become necessary for Ritzie to take that next step.
For now, though, Ritzie will assess his options and go through the steps of a highly touted recruit.