The state of North Carolina doesn't look to be particularly deep in defensive ends for the class of 2008 but one player East Carolina is keeping a watchful eye on is DE Josh Newkirk from Wallace-Rose Hill High School in Teachey, NC.
After a super showing at the Shrine Bowl combine held recently at Greene Central High School, Newkirk may very well see his stock rise even further over the coming months. The rising senior was a standout in individual workouts and received praise from Shrine Bowl head coach Sam Story for his workout. He then followed that up with an amazing 36 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press. Newkirk also logged a 26.8-inch vertical jump and 5.06-second 40-yard dash. The talented defensive end measured in at 6-2, 215 pounds.
As a junior, Newkirk notched 100 tackles and 15 sacks en route to all-conference honors. That has helped him earn early interest from East Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, UNC, Wake Forest, Penn State and Wake Forest.
So far, UNC and East Carolina are showing Newkirk the most interest and he talked about the four schools he's got at the top of his wish-list.
"I like Tennessee," he said. "I just got some mail from them and I wouldn't mind going there. I also wouldn't mind going out west somewhere like Illinois. In-state, I like UNC. I'm from Chapel Hill originally. I moved to Wallace-Rose Hill with my mom and dad and I just like that area. I'm also looking at East Carolina. My brother and sister go to school there now. I go down there a lot, and I enjoy it."
Newkirk said he is undecided on his camp plans for the summer.