NC Defensive End Favors Cal

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- One of North Carolina's top prospects in the 2010 class holds multiple offers, including one from California...

Northern Guilford High will likely added another talented athlete to its roster – Gabe King, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end.

"I will be leaving Page High School and I will be going to Northern Guilford," King said. "I don't know exactly when, though."

King and his family are still working on the formalities of the transfer. If everything goes as planned, King will become a part of a team that already boasts Division I-A recruits Keenan Allen and Christian McCain.

"We're trying to win a ring next year," King said. "… I can't wait to be on a team with athletes that are just as good as me, before I get to college."

King is still enrolled and taking classes at Page, but he's not participating in any offseason activities with the football team. Instead, he's working out with his brother, who played football for Kent State.

King began his prep career at Aiken (S.C.) High. He gained significant reps as a freshman at both tight end and defensive end.

Prior to his sophomore season, King transferred to Page when his family moved to Greensboro. Almost immediately, he earn a starting role at defensive end.

"I think after three days of practice, I had my [starting] position," King said. "Ever since the first game of me coming to Page, I've started from then on out."

King was named to the All-Conference team following his sophomore campaign. On the year, he recorded 79 tackles, including 15 for a loss and three sacks.

"He has size and speed," Page head coach Kevin Gillespie said. "He has a lot of potential. It's obvious when you look at him, you can see that."

The following season, however, ended on a sour note. After missing his third unexcused practice of the season, King was kicked off the team by Gillespie with three regular season games remaining.

All involved parties met and King was reinstated to the football team following the season. However, King and his parents decided it would be best to transfer.

While the situation has raised red flags, college coaches have continued to recruit King.

"It's probably easier to say who hasn't [inquired about King]," Gillespie said. "He's gotten interest from all over the nation. I don't know if he's gotten anything from Ohio State or Michigan or anything up that way, but he's hearing from California and Oregon to Florida State and West Virginia."

California, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, and West Virginia have all extended scholarship offers.

UNC's offer was among King's first and arrived after the third game of his junior season.

King left an impression on the UNC coaching staff while participating in the Tar Heels' three-day camp last June.

"I loved Carolina," King said of his stay.

King spent the entire camp working out with the defensive ends under the guidance of John Blake.

"It was wonderful because of the amount of wisdom [Blake] had about the game," King said. "There was just so much to learn from him. I love listening to people that have something to teach. I don't like learning the same things over and over, unless there's something wrong with what I'm doing. Coach Blake taught me a lot of knew things.

"And I loved his enthusiasm for football… I like Coach Blake. He was cool."

UNC's camp was the only camp King attended last summer. He plans to camp at all the in-state schools this summer, as well as attending a "full pad" camp at California.

After receiving the scholarship offer, King returned to UNC twice for football games – against Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. He also unofficially visited NC State for two games last fall.

King will return to UNC, yet again, on Feb. 28 for the Tar Heels' Junior Day. Thus far this spring, he has attended junior days at Maryland, NC State, and Wake Forest. He has also made plans to attend upcoming junior days at Clemson and West Virginia.

Visits will play a major role in King's recruitment. He plans to take all five of his official visits before he makes a verbal commitment.

"I want to make sure I'm going to the right program," King said. "I'm going to go somewhere where I'm going to live for the next three to four years. So I have to make the right choice."

King says California is his current leader.

"I don't know what it is [about Cal]," King said. "I love their graduation rate. I love their average salary for a graduating athlete. I love that they have 450,000 living alumni. And I that its one of the top academic colleges, so if I don't make it to the next level, I will graduate with a degree that's creditable."

Following the Golden Bears, on King's favorites list, in order, are UNC, Clemson, West Virginia, and Georgia.


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