North Carolina’s revamped coaching staff secured its 4th commit of the 2019 cycle yesterday as safety Giovanni Biggers committed to the Heels. A Baltimore native, Biggers is currently ranked as the nation’s 42nd-best safety and Maryland’s 12th-best player.
Biggers fills a readily apparent need for the 2019 Heels, as projected starters J.K. Britt and Myles Dorn (yes, he’s an early-entry candidate) could be ex-Tar Heels by the time Biggers makes his trip down south. Coincidentally, he’ll join Carolina’s only other current Maryland natives in the defensive backfield. Redshirt sophomores Myles Wolfolk and Greg Ross are UNC’s only representatives from the crab cakes and football state.
Standing 6’1, 180, he definitely has time to put on the requisite weight to play in the ACC. His coach at Baltimore Boys’ Latin, Ritchie Schell, said of Biggers that he is a “rangy, physical player and a competitor.” Schell played Biggers at linebacker until his junior year, when he moved him to more of a free safety role in Latin’s defense. That’s right. He played linebacker at less than 180 pounds. This already speaks to his attitude on the field.
On his film, you see a guy who is very raw at his new position. He tends to get caught watching the passer for a bit too long, and lets things happen underneath him. Given the alignment of Latin’s defense (seriously, watch the video, they have 10 guys on the LOS on most plays), I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of this caution was coached into him. He is literally the only line of defense if one of his teammates gets burned.
Don’t get me wrong, there are most definitely a lot of positives and it’s not hard to see a future stud in the defensive backfield. The first two plays on his Hudl tape show him diagnosing outside runs. taking gorgeous angles to the ball-carrier, and putting his helmet on the ball.
Multiple times, if Biggers failed to square a someone up, he got a hand inside the ball-carrier’s wrist and forced a fumble or drop. He...didn’t fail to square too many people up...Giovanni lays some lumber.
I love his size and potential to add weight, his aggression, and the way he initiates angry (yet extremely fundamentally-sound) contact. His instincts, footwork, and hips will have to improve, but I’m willing to give him a pass on that as the embedded video above is the only tape that exists of him playing safety.
With Biggers and speedy nickel Coleman Reich in the fold, the Heels are still probably in the market for at least one more corner and one more safety. As long-snapper Drew Little and LB Allen Smith are the only other commits, the Heels are in the market for a lot more to fill out the 2019 class.