Marietta’s Tyrell Tomlin became the latest local football player to commit to the Tar Heels, joining two safeties — Wheeler’s Allen Artis and North Cobb’s Cameron Albright — who announced their decisions last month.
Tomlin committed last Wednesday. According to Marietta coach Scott Burton, Tomlin had anywhere from 15 to 20 scholarship offers, including Mississippi, Arkansas, Boston College, Wake Forest, Louisville and Minnesota. Tomlin settled on his final five — North Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, North Carolina State and Kentucky — before going with the Tar Heels.
“It excites me to play football for coach (Larry) Fedora, and the program offers so many great opportunities,” Tomlin said in a statement. “The academic support really impresses me and I know I will take advantage of it.
“It really makes me happy to think about earning a degree from such an incredible school, known for its high academic standards.”
Entering his fourth year at Marietta — all on the varsity team — and his third as a starting linebacker, the 6-foot, 225-pound Tomlin is coming off a season in which he led the Blue Devils with 128 tackles, including 96 solo and 4½ sacks. The Blue Devils reached the second round of the state playoffs for the second straight year after finishing the season with an 8-4 mark.
“Ty is like a lot of kids in our program,” Burton said. “He works hard for himself and for his team and for the community. He’s a very talented young man from a family that has instilled some good things in him, and his pick of UNC is a reflection of that.”
Burton noted that North Carolina will be getting a player who, over time, could pay big dividends for the Tar Heels’ defense.
“He’s a high-energy kid who could play every down as he gets more experience up there,” Burton said. “He can play downhill and stop the run, and he can go sideline to sideline and play in pass coverage.
“I think his best football is ahead of him. I don’t think a lot of people realize that Ty hasn’t been playing football all that long. He started in the eighth grade and has just gotten better.”
Tomlin made two visits to North Carolina and decided following his second trip to Chapel Hill. He also took visits to Tennessee and Kentucky.
Tomlin is also looking forward to joining his Cobb counterparts on the Tar Heels’ defense.
“Allen and Cameron and I are excited to come from Georgia together and do great things wearing Carolina blue,” Tomlin said in his statement. “I know we’re going to take the program to another level.”
First, though, Burton sees Tomlin having another successful season for Marietta, especially since he won’t have to worry about college recruiting.
“I’m excited for him, his family and his teammates,” Burton said. “I know he wanted this season to be about the team and not him, and I know his teammates appreciate that. It’s a relief for him and his family because recruiting can be a big distraction. So, for them to be able to turn the page and have him focus on school and football is refreshing.”
Tomlin is also excited to have the process over.
“Committing is great for me and it also gives me the opportunity to take care of what I need to as a Marietta Blue Devil,” Tomlin said. “I need to be a great leader, player and student now and this gives me the best chance to do that.”