Princess Anne DB Tony Grimes (Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757)
The #1 ranked cornerback in the nation, Tony Grimes, has made his college commitment
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
The University of North Carolina got the plum of the 2021 recruiting class.
Since he was an 8th grader, Princess Anne defensive back Tony Grimes (2021 DB/WR 6-1 180) has attracted college recruiting attention. He landed his first off in the spring of his 8th grade year. The ACC was in on him earliest. The ACC won him over.
Some may be surprised that it wasn’t an in-state school that nabbed him, but that wasn’t in the cards. Tony narrowed his list to Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio State and Texas A&M.
This commitment is so important in the landscape of college football that ESPN broke down Tony’s final options.
Here’s the synopsis of ESPN’s take on the impact of his decision to commit to North Carolina:
“Brown is trying to build a championship-caliber program at North Carolina, and landing elite defensive prospects is a great way blueprint to get to the College Football Playoff. Brown and his staff signed five-star defensive end Desmond Evans in the 2020 class, ESPN 300 defensive linemen Myles Murphy and Kedrick Bingley-Jones, as well as ESPN 300 safety Ja’Qurious Conley. The staff has seven ESPN 300 defensive prospects committed in the 2021 cycle, including five-star defensive end Keeshawn Silver. Brown already has his quarterback in Sam Howell, so adding elite players on defense to a class that is already ranked No. 4 overall would help balance this team out and push this roster to where Brown wants it to be.”
“The Buckeyes have been producing NFL-caliber cornerbacks for the past few years and are going to have an excellent secondary again in the 2020 season. The staff didn’t have any ESPN 300 corners in the 2019 class but did add ESPN 300 corners Ryan Watts and Lejond Cavazos in 2020. The staff has only ESPN 300 corner Jakailin Johnson committed in 2021, so adding in someone as talented as Grimes would help restock the cornerback room with an elite prospect. It’s not dire to add Grimes to this class, but with only three cornerbacks on the roster who are freshmen or sophomores, it would be a big boost to the future depth.”
Ultimately, it was his relationship with Coach Dry Bly that was the difference maker.
“I’m 110% committed. This is a big weight off my shoulders,” Grimes said. “The way they recruited me made the difference. I love how Coach Brown coaches, I love Coach Jay Batman’s defense, and Coach Bly is going to have me ready.”
Tony still has his senior year to play, assuming that the VHSL allows it to happen. Considering the importance of his college commitment, if the season is delayed, we may have seen the last of Tony Grimes on a high school football field. Fortunately for local football fans, Chapel Hill isn’t that far away.
Grimes may have created some new Tar Heel fans on Tuesday.
– Andy Hilton