Simmons: Notes from N.C.

After seeing close to two dozen schools practice or scrimmage in North Carolina last week, national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons shares his thoughts on some of the top prospects he saw...

It was great to get back into North Carolina, a state that produces top level talent each cycle.

It still does not get the proper respect when talking high school football recruiting, but more are starting to recognize it.

Here are quick notes on some of the top prospects I saw last week.

Austin Kendall | 2016 QB | Cuthbertson
Still getting to know his teammates and the playbook after transferring back to Cuthbertson after playing at Charlotte Christian in 2013. Was streaky in his scrimmage and he had a few balls dropped that he threw well. Needs to improve delivery and arm strength. More mobile than some may think.

J.T. Cauthen | 2017 WR | Cuthbertson
Has to become more consistent with his hands. Has the frame (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) coaches love to see, especially at his age. He is strong and he is physical, but raw. Should become at minimum, a regional prospect in the coming years.

Brian Chaffin | 2015 OL | Charlotte Christian
The more I see him, the more I like him - period. This kid is a player and Stanford is getting a multi-year starter. He is intense, he is competitive, he is a leader, and he is strong. A true center with a great base and balanced strength. Smart too.

Philip Walton | 2015 OL | Charlotte Christian
The N.C. State has not been a football player for long, so he is definitely on the raw side, but you can see why the Pack took him. He is 6-6, 265 pounds, and he is a coordinated big body. He bends well and he has the frame to add weight. He has a ways to go as a blocker - he just started playing offensive tackle fulltime this season.

Amari Henderson | 2015 CB | Mallard Creek
Could be a steal for Wake Forest. Long and lean, so he needs to add strength, but he uses his length to help in coverage. He covers a big radius and his understanding of the position shows. He could see the field early for the Demon Deacons.

Josh Brown | 2016 DE | Mallard Creek
When I watch him, I see a lot of upside. Could be a rush end, but likely an outside linebacker who plays standing up on the next level. He is athletic, that stood out early at his prospect. He has quickness and agility. Three offers (Florida State, North Carolina, and UCLA) in now, but many more to come.

Marcus Hawkins | 2017 DL | Freedom
A defensive tackle to know. Not the tallest (Listed at 6-3, but a little shorter than that), but strong lower-body, good quickness, and he carries 250 pounds very well. Could end up as a strongside end or defensive tackle. One to know and one to watch as he develops.

B.J. Emmons | 2016 RB | Freedom
Only two offers today, but expect that to change this fall. He will soon be a Scout 300 prospect and he will be another top back to come out of N.C. He is close to 6-feet tall and 212 pounds right now and he has speed to go with the size. N.C. State jumped on him early - smart.

Shy Tuttle | 2015 DL | North Davidson
Tuttle has not done much at all this spring and summer after shoulder surgery in the off-season, but he is back. He is still nimble on his feet, but he may be still working himself back into shape. He had somewhat of a down season in 2013 with the shoulder bothering him, but he was getting after it at practice. He will be one we watch very closely this fall.

Jordan Riley | 2017 DL | Riverside
New to football after growing up a basketball player. Riley shined at Florida'S Friday Night Lights in July and the 6-4, 285 pound sophomore has a chance to be a top recruit. This is his first year of playing football, so he is learning on the fly. He has a great frame, very good feet, and he is a prospect who could project as a defensive tackle or offensive guard.

Johnny Frasier | 2015 RB | Princeton
He is ready to play college football now if you are going off his physique. Frasier is pushing 215 pounds now, he still has the initial burst, and he can catch the ball well out of the backfield. Frasier is not the top prospect in N.C. today on Scout, but he will be soon. I had the opportunity to watch him practice and play this trip. The new Florida State commit is one of the best in the country.

Keion Joyner | 2016 OLB | Havelock
The No. 1 junior in the Southeast only played about a dozen downs in the scrimmage, but he again showed why he is ranked where he is. He is such a quick and long athlete. He covers so much ground and his one tackle made a lot of noise at Southwest Onslow Friday. Special player.

Michael Bowman | 2015 WR | Havelock
There are two Bowman's on Havelock, but Michael made the most plays Friday. The South Carolina commit scored a touchdown and he worked at wide receiver and running back. Does not have the prototypical size at receiver, but he is thick, more quick than fast, and versatile.

Jimmie Taylor | 2016 DE | Southwest Onslow
Was moved around from end to tackle Friday and he played a lot of five-technique, three-technique, and shade in the Havelock game. He ran multiple stunts, so he was not able to display his quick first step as much as he could have. He still made his share of plays though. He looks to be in that 6-2, 215 pound range right now, so he could be looked at as a 'tweener' (End or linebacker). His skill-set is more of a fulltime weakside end.

Nyheim Hines | 2015 ATH | Garner
What a talent. People stand up each time Hines gets the ball in his hands because of his big-play ability. He is so quick to the hole and he is great in space. He will be able to be used in multiple ways on the next level. Not ideal size for a big-time running back, but runs stronger than some would expect. Great burst and top-end speed.

Kengera Daniel | 2015 DE | Millbrook
Was in the backfield often against Jack Britt Saturday. He had his hands in passing lanes, he put the quarterback on the ground, and he chased the ball down. Daniel is impressive on the hoof and he displayed some physicality in this contest. He could have a decision in September.

Marcus Marshall | 2015 RB | Millbrook
The senior running back saw his recruitment take off this spring and summer. He had an opening run over 20 yards Saturday and he showed good short-space quickness, balance, and strength to break tackles. Runs low to the ground, so it is tough to get a great shot on him as well.

Kendall Hinton | 2015 QB | Southern Durham
Can make all the throws. Has a very compact delivery, a live arm, and he is more athletic than some may think. He can stick it tight when given time to set his feet in the pocket. When the play breaks down, he does damage with his legs too. Another good get for Wake Forest.

William Cameron | 2015 ATH | Southern Durham
Speed is what Cameron is all about. Lined up most at wide receiver in the Middle Creek scrimmage, but looks more natural at running back. Not a natural pass-catcher, but can make plays with the ball in his hands. He gets it, then gets up field in a hurry. He is committed to Wake Forest.

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