North Carolina's Future Stars: A Dozen to Remember

The state of North Carolina is loaded with top senior prospects, but several underclassmen are also impressing scouts across the state. <P> StateFans has a preview of some of North Carolina's top underclassmen high school football players.

RB Toney Baker

Hometown: Jamestown, NC (Ragsdale HS)

Vitals: 5-10/218/4.5

Baker Profile: Some consider Baker to be the state's top running back… right now. That's high praise considering talents such as Jamaal Edwards, George Bell, Andre Brown, and John McEachin also reside in North Carolina. Toney's backed up the praise on the gridiron, rushing for 2,586 yards and 31 touchdowns, leading the state in both categories. He's already received official offers from North Carolina and Tennessee, with others sure to follow. Virginia Tech, NC State, and North Carolina are the early leaders for "Touchdown Toney" Baker. Toney Baker StateFans Report

LB Derek Nicholson

Hometown:Winston-Salem, NC (Mount Tabor HS)

Vitals: 6-1/220/4.6

Nicholson Profile:Nicholson is a hard-nosed linebacker prospect who's played on the varsity level since his freshman year at Mt. Tabor. The brother of star Florida State Linebacker A.J. Nicholson, Derek finished his sophomore season with 172 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks, garnering all-conference and all-area honors. He has led the Spartans to a 9-1 record this year, heading into the first round of the state playoffs. His father attended the University of North Carolina, and word is the Tarheels and Seminoles hold the early lead.

QB Jonathan Crompton

Hometown: Tuscola, NC (Tuscola High School)

Vitals: 6-3/191/4.9

Crompton Profile: Jonathan (along with Baker) is the most talked about underclassman in the state of North Carolina, and he has received heavy recruiting attention early on. Crompton already has offers from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia among others. After a strong NIKE Camp performance he received an invite to the Elite 11 Camp as a ball boy this summer, high honors for a rising junior quarterback. On the season he has passed for over 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions. Jon has stated he has no leader among North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, and Tennessee. Jon Crompton StateFans Report

RB/LB Cedric Hickman

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC (North Forsyth High School)

Vitals: 6-3/225/4.5

Hickman Profile: Hickman, also an accomplished basketball player for North Forsyth, is a big, powerful running back possesses great speed and runs behind his pads very well. He's rushed for nearly 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. It's still early, but "Ced" projects as either a running back, linebacker, or even defensive end at the next level, and that's if he doesn't choose to concentrate on basketball. The in-state programs, North Carolina and NC State, along with Virginia are reportedly in good shape early.

WR Josh Briscoe

Hometown: Lawndale, NC (Burns High School)

Vitals: 6-4/180/4.4

Briscoe Profile: Briscoe burst on the scene as a sophomore, averaging an astounding 27 yards per catch on 43 receptions and 19 scores. This season he's back at it again for Burns, already with 43 catches and over 700 yards and 7 touchdowns. He had favored NC State early on but with the Wolfpack not showing much attention, schools like North Carolina and Tennessee have climbed into the picture. Josh already has an early offer from the Duke Blue Devils. Josh Briscoe StateFans Report

DT/OT Cameron Thomas

Hometown: Robbins, NC (North Moore HS)

Vitals: 6-6/315/5.1

Thomas Profile: "Cam" is one of the more physically imposing prospects in the state, combining great size with quickness and agility. This season he's even served as running back for the Mustangs, rushing for over 500 yards and 6 touchdowns and displaying the athleticism we are raving about. Thomas projects as a defensive or offensive tackle on the next level, and reportedly the NC State Wolfpack and Georgia Bulldogs are his early favorites.

WR Maurice Covington

Hometown: Durham, NC (Southern Durham High School)

Vitals: 6-5/200/4.5

Covington Profile: Covington is the first known junior prospect to have committed, announcing for Al Groh's Virginia Cavaliers just a few weeks back. Right now he's a raw athlete at wide receiver, just beginning to fully devote his attention to football after playing basketball early in his high school career. Maurice has 13 receptions for 347 yards and 5 touchdowns in just seven games on the season. He picked Virginia over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Maurice Covington Commitment Interview

WR Mohamed Massaquoi

Hometown: Charlotte, NC (Independence High School)

Vitals: 6-2/180/4.65

Massaquoi Profile: Mohamed plays for famed Independence High School, alongside star quarterback Chris Leak for the first two years of his career. With Leak gone, some thought Independence would drop off, but Massaquoi and his teammates haven't skipped a beat. He's contributed 65 catches and over 1000 yards this season, not to mention 17 touchdowns. The AP All-State wideout has reportedly received a scholarship offer from the North Carolina Tarheels and is open to all programs.

WR Freddie Brown

Hometown: Concord, NC (Jay Robinson High School)

Vitals: 6-5/180/4.55

Brown Profile: Freddie's an "unknown" across the state right now, but one local guru stated he's the best wide receiver in the state, not Briscoe or Massaquoi. Brown's father, Freddie Brown Sr., is a Wide Receivers coach for Wofford College, and he's obviously taught "Junior" well. Freddie has 41 catches and 10 touchdowns on the season, with nearly 700 receiving yards. Like Covington and Hickman, he's also a talented basketball prospect, and he may receive collegeiate interest on the hardwood. Brown is a definite sleeper who has chance to really make an impact over the upcoming months at the various camps and combines that he's sure to attend.

RB Shawn Moore

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC (Carver High School)

Vitals: 5-11/190/4.55

Moore Profile: Moore rushed for over 2,000 yards as a sophomore while at Kernersville (Glenn) High School, before transferring over to Carver to play his junior year. He's rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns thus far, operating out of the Wing-T offense as a Yellow Jacket. He impressed StateFans in his matchup against Dudley High School and several colleges will be all over this talented tailback. Shawn Moore StateFans Report

(SOPH) RB Josh Adams

Hometown: Cary, NC (Cary High School)

Vitals: 5-11/185/4.5

Adams Profile: StateFans profiled Adams earlier this season after hearing about his exploits at Cary High School. He was injured late in the year for the Imps, with cartilage damage to his knee and missed the remainder of the year. At the time of his injury, Josh was leading the state in rushing with 1,486 yards and 9 touchdowns... as a sophomore. The future's definitely bright for Adams, a talented athlete who may even be a better defensive prospect then running back. Rest assured, the local programs already know all about him. Josh Adams StateFans Report

(SOPH) RB Devon Moore

Hometown: Hillsborough, NC (Cedar Ridge High School)

Vitals: 5-10/175/4.45

Moore Profile: Moore is closing in on the 2,000 yard mark for Cedar Ridge and doing so as their only offensive option. He's shiftier and quicker then Adams and has put up terrific numbers. It's still too early to project his future, but there is no doubt that Devon's one of the more talented players in the state. He's sure to get bigger, stronger, and faster as his body matures over the next two years of high school football.

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