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Four-star linebacker Payton Wilson commits to North Carolina

The Hillsborough, NC native chose the Tar Heels over some real football powerhouses.

North Carolina v South Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Four-star outside linebacker Payton Wilson out of Orange High School in Hillsborough, North Carolina, has committed to play football at North Carolina as a member of the class of 2018. Wilson joins wide receiver Dyami Brown and offensive lineman Avery Jones in UNC’s current class of 2018.

Wilson chose to commit to the Tar Heels over his other top schools, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Clemson. This is pretty huge, because getting a top guy to stay in state and play at Carolina over going to any of those schools with a strong football reputation is a big win for Larry Fedora and the program. Getting the best North Carolina talent to stay in NC and play for the Tar Heels will be a big key toward moving the program forward.

According to 247sports, Wilson is ranked as the #2 OLB in his class. He had offers from all over the place, including Alabama, Auburn, Penn State, Notre Dame, and the aforementioned schools. He plans to graduate from high school early and enroll at UNC in January of 2018.

Wilson also mentioned that new defensive coordinator John Papuchis and the relationship they developed was a big reason why he chose to become a Tar Heel. That’s great news for the new coordinator, being able to pick up such a highly regarded recruit so early into his tenure. That hopefully signals good things to come for the defense after the departure of Gene Chizik.

You can watch Payton in action in the video below. Are you excited he has chosen the Heels?