It remains to be seen whether the Pack will try to sign a kicker in the class of 2005 but they have shown interest in several, including Patrick Mcafee of Pitssburgh, Pa, Justin Sparks of Memphis, Tn and Ryan Succop of Hickory, NC. Succop (6-3, 195 pounds) is generally considered to be the top PK in NC this year and numerous schools have shown heavy interest.
Succop put together a stellar campaign in 2003- nailing 7 of 10 FG's with a long of 53 yards, landing 91% of his kickoffs in the endzone for touch-backs and averaging 41 yards per punt.
In a contest against South Caldwell High School Succop may have been at his best. In that game he hit his career long FG of 53-yards, put four of his five kickoffs in the end zone and launched a 55-yard punt that pinned Caldwell at the one yard line.
Opposing QB Casey Justice summed up Succop's talent as well as any recruiting writer. He told The Hickory Record, "He's the only kicker I've ever faced that does that every time," said Justice. "He needs to play pro or something...He's the best high school kicker I've ever seen. Ever."
For his efforts last year the rising senior was named conference kicker-of-the-year, all-region and all-state.
This past January, he attended the acclaimed Chris Sailer Kicking Camp in Florida and came away rated a 4-star prospect and the No. 3 underclassman kicker in the nation. Succop hasn't rested on that success however as he has camp plans that will take him across the nation this summer. He gave StateFans his itinerary.
"I went out to Arizona State last week," said Succop.. "I went to Tennessee last Thursday and just got back from Chapel Hill yesterday(Saturday). "I'm going to NC State on Tuesday (June 15), USC on Saturday and then Virginia the next week. I've also got Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Georgia."
Even before hitting the camp circuit, Succop had attracted quite a bit of attention from numerous colleges. UNC, NC State, Tennessee, South Carolina, Duke, Michigan, Wisconsin and Virginia are just a sampling of the schools showing early interest.
However, he was able to narrow his favorites down and gave us his thoughts on two of his top schools.
"Right now I like UNC, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Wisconsin and NC State," said Succop. "Coach Cignetti is recruiting me for State. I think they really want to get me up to camp. I'll be there on Tuesday. I like State because they're close to home and obviously they've got a good football program. Coach Amato, he's doing a great job and the academic aspect- I'm pretty happy about that.
"As for UNC, I've always been a big Tar Heel fan. Obviously it's a good school and it's close to home. Plus I think the team is getting going there. They've gotten a couple of good recruiting classes in."
Succop added that playing time will be a major consideration with the school he eventually lands at.
"If I get the offers, I'd like to go somewhere where I could be the starter for three or four years. I'm also looking at what their program is like and the academics."
Succop projects as a full academic qualifier. He is undecided on a college major.