Once again, Flipmas came early for the Heels for the 2021 recruiting cycle. On Saturday morning, linebacker Trevion Stevenson announced his verbal commitment to UNC. Stevenson decommitted from Pittsburgh earlier this week. The announcement was made via his Twitter account.
Considered a three-star recruit by ESPN and the 247 Sports Composite, the recruiting services are not as enthusiastic as Mack Brown’s staff is about Stevenson’s potential. Considering the rising senior holds offers from numerous P5 programs, these rankings can likely be attributed a lack of camps and evaluation opportunities over the past few months.
Rivals: OLB, 2-stars, #NR (national), #NR (position), #NR (state)
ESPN: DE, 3-stars, #NR(national), #48 (position), #15 (state)
247 Sports (organic): OLB, 2-stars #NR (national), #122 (position), #72 (state)
247 Sports (composite): OLB, 3-stars #1535 (national), #84 (position), #46 (state)
Stevenson may lack some of the national notoriety of other UNC recruits in this cycle, but considered both a DE and OLB, his versatility will be a key component to his eventual usage at UNC. Listed anywhere from 6-3 to 6-5 and weighing approximately 220 pounds, he’ll slot into a hybrid defensive end or outside linebacker in the coming years. He is now the fifth defensive end or linebacker to commit for this cycle.
Stevenson is also the second recruit this cycle from the Tidewater region of Virginia, also known as the 757. Two weeks ago, Tony Grimes became UNC’s first commit from the area since Dazz Newsome in 2017, and just the third since 2011. Playing his high school ball at Phoebus High School in Hampton, Virginia, Stevenson now becomes the second 757 recruit to commit to UNC in as many weeks. We touched on the importance of the region shortly after Grimes committed.
This flip also marks the 13th player that has committed to UNC after previously being committed to a different Power Five program. Brown’s first class in 2019 welcomed seven players who had been committed to a Power Five program. 2020 added another three “flips”. The 2021 class now features three such players. For context, UNC has only lost three decommitted recruits to other Power Five programs since Brown was hired in November of 2018, and two of those technically committed when Larry Fedora was the head coach.
Stevenson is the 18th recruit for UNC this cycle and just the fourth recruit from outside North Carolina. He joins wide receiver JJ Jones (South Carolina), offensive tackle Eli Sutton (Tennessee), and the aforementioned Grimes.