Early NC Top 10: No. 9 DE Jonathan Bullard

Pack Pride breaks down ten players that could challenge as one of the state's best for the class of 2012. Today we take a look at Shelby (NC) Crest defensive end Jonathan Bullard.

The official rankings for the North Carolina class of 2012 won't be released for a couple of months but it's never too early to take a look at some of the best players in the state. Over the next two weeks, Pack Pride will break down 10 players that will challenge for a spot among the state's top players. Today we profile defensive end Jonathan Bullard.

DE Jonathan Bullard...6-4, 250 pounds...Crest High School, Shelby, NC

The Skinny....It's not a very deep year for defensive ends in the state of North Carolina but Bullard is definitely the cream of the crop.            

Blessed with a ready-made frame and size for college, Bullard also boasts above average athleticism and the pursuit skills of a linebacker. As a junior he was named  the Big South Conference's Defensive Player of the Year after tallying 107 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 16 sacks. Although Bullard is already on the radar of numerous major colleges, he has the potential to really blow up over the spring and summer.

Scholarship offers...Florida, Clemson, UNC, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Auburn

Where does the Pack stand?....The Wolfpack has hosted Bullard on campus previously and were on hand at a Crest game last fall to see him and teammate Rhaheim Ledbetter in person. While the Pack has been mentioned on at least one occasion as being among the lead group for Bullard, any chance for NC State seems to be a long shot at best currently. Perhaps State can get him on campus over the coming months and that'll be a necessity if they hope to have any shot at landing him.

Early thoughts...Bullard is the best in a thin class of in-state defensive ends. The Pack desperately needs a difference-maker at the position but will likely have to look in a different direction. State simply hasn't had much luck at Crest over the last few years and that doesn't look likely to change this year.

Bullard and Ledbetter have expressed a desire to play together in college and they do seem more sincere about it than most. However, we also know that the odds are against this ultimately playing out. Although Bullard lists no favorites and is nowhere near making a decision, our gut feeling is he heads out of state to a place like Clemson or Florida.

Pack Pride Top Stories