According to a report from 247 Sports, 5-star cornerback Tony Grimes — who committed last week to UNC — plans to reclassify from 2021 to 2020. The 6-foot, 180-pound Grimes, who hails from Virginia Beach, plans to enroll at UNC on Aug. 1.
Grimes, the program’s best recruit in over a decade, provided a notable boost to North Carolina’s 2021 recruiting class; however, he left the door open to possibly reclassify. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s large-scale concern over the viability of high school football in 2020, including in the state of Virginia. Less than two weeks later, it’s been confirmed: Grimes is headed to Chapel Hill in less than a month.
As Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports notes, the recruiting service will move Grimes from North Carolina’s 2021 class — currently ranked No. 3 nationally — to the 2020 class, which ranks 19th.
Due to turnover in the secondary, Grimes has the chance to compete for playing time immediately with the Tar Heels. Grimes joins transfers Kyler McMichael (Clemson) and Bryce Watts (Virginia Tech) as an infusion of incoming talent in the defensive backfield. During the 2018 season, Watts started all 12 games as a true sophomore for the Hokies.
Grimes confirmed his decision on Twitter, too.
— Tony Grimes (@757EliteDB) July 10, 2020
This is an interesting move from Grimes — for several reasons. For starters, the 2020 college football season is a bit of a black box right now, too; earlier this week, news leaked that the ACC could go to a conference-only schedule in 2020.
There’s also the fact that Grimes will join a program that’s in the midst of trying to hold together an offseason that’s been ripped apart by COVID-19. Currently, UNC is in the midst of a temporary suspension to offseason workouts after a cluster of positive test results this week.