Summers Has A Leader

Greensboro (NC) Page quarterback James Summers grew up playing basketball and admits that he never believed his talents on the gridiron would lead to his college being paid for.

Greensboro (NC) Page quarterback James Summers grew up playing basketball and admits that he never believed his talents on the gridiron would lead to his college being paid for.

However, his standout junior season has led to Summers emerging as a priority for college programs. In 2010 he led Page to a 10-3 record, accounting for 2,890 yards of total offense and 36 touchdowns (21 passing, 16 rushing).

"I started playing quarterback my freshman year when I was the backup and I also played receiver," said Summers. "The hard part of transitioning all the way to quarterback was getting all the fundamentals right with my mechanics and footwork. Making plays I could do, and as far as knowing where everybody has to be and the plays, that came easy to me too.

"I grew up more playing basketball and focusing on that. I wasn't even going to play football in high school, but I chose to do it and now I have some scholarship offers."

Summers landed his first offer a few weeks back when North Carolina verbally offered.

"Getting the first offer was like a dream come true," he said. "It wasn't a written offer or anything, but it came straight from the coach and that was big to me."

His second verbal offer was secured over the weekend when NC State head coach Tom O'Brien let him know that he had an offer to play for the Wolfpack.

"I went to State's camp last year but got sick and hadn't really seen all their facilities," said Summers. "I went to check the program out on Sunday and got to look at all the facilities. After that we went to the basketball game when they were playing Florida State.

"I watched that a little bit, and I talked to coach O'Brien during the game. We talked at halftime, and he told me how I had a scholarship offer to play for State. Obviously I was happy about it because I've always followed State in football."

NC State defensive backs coach Mike Reed is recruiting Summers for the Wolfpack.

"Coach Reed is a straight up guy. He'll tell you how it is, how they are looking at me right now, and how everything is going. He's helping me out and everything, just making sure I understand the recruiting process."

Summers is a rare in-state recruit. He openly admits that he grew up a North Carolina basketball fan but actually roots for NC State in football. How did that happen?

"Everybody was a Carolina basketball fan and growing up that was easy for me," he said. "I've always played basketball and still do, so it was easy to root for Carolina.

"In football I didn't have a true favorite until about my eighth grade year when I had started playing football. For me it was State, that was my team. I've always liked them in football... Russell [Wilson] definitely caught my attention too. I just liked how he makes game-changing plays. People see how he is a running quarterback, and maybe wondered if he could play like that in college, but he stood up to his challenge. He extends plays and uses his feet when he needs too, but he can pass it."

Summers laughed when asked about one of the only college games he has attended... North Carolina-NC State last fall in Chapel Hill.

"I was there being recruited for Carolina, but I guess State had a little of my love on their side," he said. "It was a real good game. I wasn't really going for any team though. I went there looking to see a good game and that's what it ended up being."

Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Summers now holds offers from UNC and NC State, and he is receiving interest from programs such as Duke, ECU, Clemson, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, and Syracuse among others.

A terrific athlete, he says that both NC State and North Carolina are recruiting him as a quarterback but have left the door open for him to potentially play another position down the road.

"Carolina is recruiting me as a quarterback and safety," he said. "They are recruiting me to play quarterback and then if that doesn't work out I can play safety. State is recruiting me as a quarterback, but they said that if I don't feel like I can handle it they want the ball in my hands at slot receiver or wide receiver. They don't want to take the ball out of my hands."

Summers has previously stated that he didn't have a leader between NC State and North Carolina, but that changed after his recent visit to Raleigh.

"I'm leaning towards State right now," he stated. "I just feel like the program is best for me and where I can focus on my academics better.

"It was a little tempting to go ahead and [commit] when they offered me, but I know I have to wait it out a little bit. Coach Tom O'Brien just told me that it was a long process, and whenever I'm ready they would be there for me and if I wanted to I could go ahead and commit."

He doesn't have a timeframe for reaching a decision, but knows that it will be before the fall, as he has big plans for his senior year.

"I don't know when I'll make a decision," Summers said. "It can be anywhere from two weeks to a month. I'll definitely will have it done before my senior year though. I want to have it out of the way before I start football.

"I believe we're going to be strong this year. We have a great team coming back. We have about four guys that were senior starters last year and two of those rotated in. We have about the whole team coming back."

Summers is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to East Carolina on March 20th.

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