On a team loaded with talented athletes, LB Charles Gamble (6-3, 215 pounds, 4.5-seconds in the 40) could very well be Southern Durham (NC) High School's most impressive player. Blessed with good size, speed and football smarts, Gamble has emerged as a Spartan standout on both offense and defense in 2004.
Although he projects as an OLB on the collegiate level, Gamble has already racked up better than 400 yards and five touchdowns as a RB on offense this year. However, the senior prospect says that defense is where his heart lies and he's made a name for himself as one of the state's best.
"I really want to play OLB," said Gamble. "I like to make plays. I like to bee-line the ball. I like to take on blocks. I think that my speed, vision and my tackling are what I'm good at."
On defense, Gamble has collected eight sacks, one interception returned for a touchdown and a fumble recovery returned for a score in helping lead Southern to an undefeated record.
One would think that a player with so much promise, in addition to playing on a high-profile program, would have created a recruiting frenzy for his commitment. However, that hasn't been the case. It appears quite likely that Gamble's college plans will have to be put on hold for a year while he gets his academic house in order.
"Hargrave is a definite possibility," said Gamble. "I'm going to Hargrave for a year to get my grades right."
The temporary detour hasn't deterred several of the region's major programs and right now, Gamble is focused on primarily three schools.
"South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Clemson, they're the schools I'm mainly looking at right now," said Gamble. "All of them have offered. I'm kind of leaning towards South Carolina. They've got Lou Holtz and he's a very good coach. I just like the Gamecocks."
Whatever school he eventually lands at, Gamble is certain of what he'll be looking for when the time arrives to settle on a future college.
"I want to be able to go in and play my sophomore year," he said. "I just want to see how it feels to go out there and play with the big dogs. I mean, I think I've got the physical ability. I've just got to get the mind part down."
Gamble recently took in the Pack's game with Ohio State and said he would love to see more interest from the Wolfpack.
"A few of my players like State so I decided to go down with them to check it out," said Gamble. "State's not recruiting me much right now though but if they started showing more interest, I would definitely have more interest in them. I mean, State is awesome. They're awesome. I think they had the game against Ohio State but they had too many turnovers and penalties. But they're good."