Just days after accepting an invitation to the Orange Bowl, the UNC football program received another Christmas gift. It came in the form of a verbal commitment from four-star cornerback Tayon Holloway. He is the second UNC commit for the class of 2022, after four-star wide receiver Tychaun Chapman committed last weekend. The announcement came via Twitter.
A consensus four-star recruit, Holloway is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. As with all rankings over the past year, evaluations are inconsistent to come by with the lack of games and skills camps. Regardless, the relative similarities across the services indicate the junior’s high-level potential in college is widely agreed upon. Check out his current rankings:
Rivals: CB, 4-star, #60 (national), #8 (position), #4 (state)
ESPN: CB, 4-star, #218 (national), #24 (position), #9 (state)
247 Sports (organic): CB, 4-star, #182 (national), #22 (position), #6 (state)
247 Sports (composite): CB, 4-star, #136 (national), #15 (position), #5 (state)
Measured at 6-1, 175 pounds, Holloway plays for Green Run High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He’s the first addition to the defensive secondary for the class of 2022. It’s a position group that’s received heavy emphasis as the staff continues to build breadth and depth to what was a noticeable weakness just one season ago. In the past two classes UNC has signed a combination of six safeties and defensive backs, while adding transfers Cam’Ron Kelly and Kyler McMichael to strengthen the backend of the defense.
Brian Dohn of 247 Sports gave this breakdown of Hollway’s potential in March:
Long, lean frame with good length. Can easily add 15 to 20 pounds without impacting skill set. Loose hips and smooth athlete. Transitions easily from backpedal to running with receiver. Does best work as field corner. Has speed to track on long crossing patterns. Gets out of breaks on receiver’s hip. Possesses closing speed. Good ball skills. Comfortable in backpedal. Has to add strength. Must improve on jam ability to re-route receiver. Must become bigger factor in run game. Multi-year starter at Top 20 program. Day 3 NFL draft potential.
Holloway also continues UNC’s efforts to secure a foothold in Virginia’s Tidewater region. Like Chapman, Holloway plays in the “757”, continuing the recent influx of talent from there to Chapel Hill. After bringing in just two scholarship recruits from the area from 2011 to 2017 (Travis Hughes and Dazz Newsome), the Heels have received four such commitments in the last six months. Tony Grimes, Trevion Stevenson and Chapman are the others.
After signing 15 in-state players in the 2021 class (an internet-era program record), UNC will increase their efforts outside the state for 2022. The Tidewater region is a natural launching point for that expansion, as we explained after Grimes committed. Many in the program already consider it a de facto in-state recruiting territory.
Holloway picked UNC despite holding offers from Alabama, Florida State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.