“He’s an excellent corner,” Hough head coach Miles Aldrighe said. “He starts in our secondary, but also could start at wide receiver – he could play both places equally well. He’s the type of corner that can play up or could play back. He’s a shutdown type and usually if you have corners that can go one-on-one, it gives you a chance to do other things other places.”
After seeing significant reps as a freshman, Osborne started at nickel cornerback this past football season as Hough converted to a 4-2-5 defensive scheme. That secondary also boasted UNC pledge Corey Bell and South Carolina verbal commitment Mark Fields. Osborne ended his sophomore campaign with 62 tackles, including five for a loss, plus three interceptions.
With Osborne’s continued emergence coupled with Clemson pledge Van Smith’s transfer into Hough, Hough’s secondary is an embarrassment of riches for Aldrighe.
“I’m not going to be embarrassed,” Aldrighe said with a laugh. “I’m glad to have them. We’re going to play a lot of kids both ways, which actually gives us a chance to increase our offense. When you have a plus at one spot, it helps you at other places that you need help. So this helps us on offense.”
With that said, Osborne’s offensive reps will increase this coming season. Also, he and Bell will combine to play cornerback, while Fields and Smith man safety positions.
Four schools have offered Osborne a scholarship – Duke, North Carolina, NC State, and South Carolina – and all four were earned via his performance at the respective school’s camp this past June.
“That’s exactly how I thought it would go,” Osborne said. “Nothing really surprised me – I just did what I do every day.”
Specifically at UNC, Osborne locked down the competition during one-on-one drills after clocking 4.38- and 4.41-second times in the 40-yard dash on a slow turf surface.
“That’s what I’ve been training for going into these camps,” Osborne said. “I wanted to run really fast for the coaches. I’ve been working with the parachute and ladder. So I wasn’t really worried about that.”
During position drills, Osborne worked out with Dan Disch, UNC’s cornerbacks coach.
“He’s a pretty cool coach,” Osborne said. “I like what he does – the different technique that he uses.”
The camp was Osborne’s first exposure to UNC.
“I loved the campus,” Osborne said. “It was very clean. It was cool and a lot of cool people.”
Osborne met a lot of the people around the school later that night. Teammates and UNC commitments Bell and Carl Tucker, who participated in the Shrine Bowl Combine earlier that day, met up with Osborne in Chapel Hill and the trio stayed the night on campus.
“We basically just played video games and went around the campus with a few of the [UNC] players,” Osborne said.
Bug Howard served as the trio’s host for the night, but they also hung out with several linemen.
“Since I just had gotten offered they were talking to Corey and Tucker more, because they were already committed,” Osborne said. “But they were telling me how I need to join them and how their program is building and they’re going to win.”
Bell and Tucker did some recruiting of their own.
“They’re trying to get me up there,” Osborne said. “They said that that’s the place to be and there’s no other place I should be. And I fit in with them.
“I do want to play with them, because I do want to go into college already knowing somebody. Carl is definitely a really big leader and Corey plays the same position as me.”
Osborne also will know somebody at Clemson (Smith), Duke (friend Shaun Wilson), and South Carolina (Fields). Thus, he doesn’t claim any favorite schools.
“Right now I’m going to stay neutral,” Osborne said.
Osborne hasn’t visited any college since his string of camps. But he’ll travel to Tennessee later this month.
“It depends on school interest,” Osborne said. “If they’re going to give me interest, I’m going to travel. And I’m going to do my thing.”
During the football season, Osborne plans to attend at least one game at each of the schools that have offered him.
Osborne runs track for Hough in the offseason to improve his speed. He was a member of the 4x100 relay team which finished eighth in the NCHSAA 4A State Track Meet. He also runs the 100- and 200-meter dashes with personal best times of 10.75 and 22.3 seconds, respectively… Growing up, Osborne admits he was a bandwagon fan in all sports. He says he’s currently hopping between the bandwagons of Clemson, Duke, and UNC.