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Nolan McConnell – 2023 OT – North Carolina Commit
Nolan McConnell is a 6'6", 280-pound offensive tackle from Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, Virginia. Currently, 247Sports has Nolan graded as an 88/100, good for a high three-star rating. In the 247 sports composite rankings, Nolan comes in as the 7th overall player in Virginia, the 32nd ranked OT nationally, and the 432nd overall player nationally in the class of 2023. Other than North Carolina, McConnell’s offer list included schools like Arkansas, Boston College, Florida State, Michigan State, NC State, Nebraska, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Expert crystal balls unanimously leaned towards Virginia, yet on his decision day, McConnell announced his commitment to North Carolina Tar Heels.
LT: Asim Richards (Sr.), Cayden Baker (Jr.) Trevyon Green (Fr.), Justin Kanyuk (Incoming Fr.)
RT: William Barnes (Rs Sr.), Spencer Rolland (Grad Transfer), Zach Rice (Fr.)
How he fits and path to playing time
McConnell will fit in well at the offensive tackle position. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him redshirt as a freshman. He will need to get into the Carolina weight room to physically develop his body into that of a Power Five offensive tackle.
Once he develops, he will be ready to play big minutes for the Heels in the two-deep. With future stars at the position in Zach Rice and Trevyon Green, it’s unlikely he sees time at the top of the two-deep as an underclassman, but as Rice and Green graduate/become draft-eligible, he could very likely move into the starting rotation by the time he becomes an upperclassman. He could start his career inside.
McConnell’s game-film shows some promising traits. One thing stand stood out was his knees, he has very good bend for a guy who’s 6'6". In addition, he is twitchy and very quick off the line. He seems to have great form and excels at using his hands to create effective leverage against his opponents on the edge. Also, for only being 280 pounds up to this point, he has some serious strength as not one opponent came close to being able to out-power him and move him backward significantly.
He plays average competition at the high school level, so seeing how he matches up against other high-level athletes at the collegiate level will be an important thing to watch for. He has the skills and the measurables to develop into a quality player, so the big thing to see will be how well this UNC staff can develop him, allowing him to reach another level.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]