After graduating high school early, Tony Grimes officially joins UNC football

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 19:06:06-04

CHAPEL HILL, NC ( - Virginia Beach's Tony Grimes, a five-star prospect and the No. 1-ranked cornerback in the Class of 2021, has chosen to reclassify to the Class of 2020 and will join the North Carolina football program for the fall semester.

"We're thrilled to welcome Tony Grimes to our program," said UNC head coach Mack Brown. "While we would have loved for Tony to have been able to play his senior season, he made the decision to reclassify because he thought it was best for him and his family. As a player, Tony is one of the best defensive backs we've ever recruited and one of the nation's top players regardless of class. He'll have to come in and compete with a group of talented players, but we feel like he'll have a positive impact on our program. Tony is also a great young man. He's had the spotlight on him for a long time and he carries himself with class. He's also an outstanding student, which shows when you consider he was able to graduate from high school a year early. We're excited to officially welcome Tony and his family to Chapel Hill."

A native of Virginia Beach, Grimes was listed as the nation's No. 7 player, the nation's No. 1-ranked cornerback and the No. 1 player in Virginia according to the 247SportsComposite for the class of 2021. After reclassifying, he was slotted as the No. 48 player overall, the fifth-ranked corner, and the top player in Virginia for the 2020 class by 247Sports. ESPN lists Grimes as the sixth-best player in the country, the top corner and the state's top player, while Rivals rates him as the nation's 13th-ranked player, the top corner and the top player in the state for the 2021 class.

Grimes, an Under Armour All-America Game invitee, was named Class 5 first-team all-state as a junior at Princess Anne High School. He was the Class 5 Region A Defensive Player of the Year that season when he posted 48 tackles and four interceptions. He also contributed 768 all-purpose yards on 40 touches and 14 touchdowns on offense.