Virginia Beach (Va.) Princess Anne five-star cornerback Tony Grimes is planning to reclassify and enroll at North Carolina on Aug. 1, his father Deon Glover tells 247Sports. Grimes is the No. 1 cornerback and No. 7 prospect overall in the 2021 class per the 247Sports Composite.
“He’s going for sure,” Glover stated Friday afternoon. The COVID-19 pandemic has put high school football and fall sports in doubt in Virginia.
“Our backs are against the wall. He doesn’t want to wait around and blow a whole season waiting around to see what’s going to happen with high school sports. He’s going to go ahead and move forward.”
Grimes is currently the jewel of a North Carolina class that ranks No. 3 nationally. 247Sports will ultimately reclassify him to a 2020 Tar Heels class that stands at No. 19. We’ve been down this road before at 247Sports with former five-star quarterback J.T. Daniels, who moved from 2019 to 2018 and ended up being slotted as the No. 6 overall prospect in that cycle.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Grimes committed to head coach Mack Brown and the Tar Heels on June 30 over the likes of Georgia, Ohio State and Texas A&M. He’s slated to arrive in Chapel Hill the first or second day in August.
“Whenever he has to report,” Glover said. “I think he’s going to have an immediate impact. He’s smart enough to catch the playbook and learn the schemes. I think he’s going to have an immediate impact.”
North Carolina signed just one cornerback in the 2020 cycle in Jayden Chalmers, who ultimately has to go the prep school route first. Grimes fills a big need on a roster where the Tar Heels tried to supplement the position room with a couple transfers in Kyler McMichael from Clemson and Bryce Watts from Virginia Tech.
“He has four games before he can red-shirt,” Glover said, acknowledging the NCAA rule where a prospect can get his feet wet that first year but still not lose eligibility. “I hate to even bring it up but I don’t think he’s going to redshirt.”
The only thing standing in Grimes’s way from enrolling is one final government class he just signed up for.
“He’ll knock that out in a couple weeks,” Glover said.
“There is supposed to be an announcement sometime today or over the weekend and I think they’re going to cancel fall sports (here). Tony is already signed up to take his final class and we’re already preparing to enroll into North Carolina.
“He’s going to go in. We’re full steam ahead!”
247Sports National Analyst Brian Dohn compares Grimes’s game to that of Kyle Fuller, who was drafted in the first round in 2014 out of Virginia Tech. Dre Bly recruited Grimes to UNC.
“Wide shoulders and good length,” Dohn wrote in his evaluation. “Frame of safety with cornerback skills. Instinctual player with high skill level. Physical and smooth. Tracks ball well and has great timing. Opens hips and runs with ease. Long strider who can cover on long crossing routes and deep throws. Strong upper body helps re-route receivers with jams. Comfortable in backpedal and explodes forward out of it. Good tackler and asset in run defense. High IQ on and off field. Leadership qualities.
“Ready to play at elite program when he steps on campus. First round NFL draft pick potential.”