Heels, Pack Battle for Top Cornerback

After a strong summer tour of college campuses that landed Jordan Hemby a host of offers, the Morganton (NC) Freedom cornerback entered the season with high expectations.

It's safe to say that he met those expectations, as Hemby is regarded as the state's top cornerbck prospect. He felt he played well this season for Freedom High School.

"I did real good," Jordan Hemby said. "I had seven interceptions and eight touchdowns. I like playing corner. I have more fun playing defense and going against all those wide receivers than playing offense."

Despite offers from programs such as NC State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Clemson, Hemby was missing from this year's North Carolina Shrine Bowl roster. Although it was upsetting at first, he knew he just had to get over it.

"I was mad at first, but I just had to get over it," Hemby said. "I went to the workout over the summer, but I still didn't make it."

What separates Hemby from the other top in-state cornerbacks is his unique combination of strength and speed. At the Adidas Combine held at NC State earlier this year, Hemby ripped off the top 40-yard dash time with an effort of 4.54-seconds (electronically-timed). He also ran a 4.3-second 40-yard dash at NC State's comp while following it up with a 4.4 at Virginia Tech.

Perhaps even more impressive was Hemby's bench numbers. At 5'11 and 180 pounds, he benched 185 pounds 18 times at the Charlottesville NIKE Camp while posting 20 reps at the Adidas Camp.

That combination of speed and power is an asset at cornerback for Hemby.

"That helps me out playing defense," he said. "If I'm pressing and I miss my bump, then I have the speed to recover, and the strength helps on my tackling."

This past weekend Hemby took his second official visit as he was in Raleigh visiting the NC State Wolfpack.

"Tramain Hall was my host," he said. "He's a funny guy. He was telling me how it is at State, and why he chose to go there.

"I liked their campus and felt comfortable with the players. It was a good visit."

Hemby, who admits playing time will be a factor, did say that the Wolfpack coaches have let it be known that he would have the chance to play right away if he inked with NC State.

"They tell me that they are losing their two starting corners and they play four corners," Hemby said. "They've got to have six at a game so they have to bring two in. The two other corners are red-shirt freshmen, and I'd just have to battle it out with them if I went there."

Hemby's first official visit was to North Carolina. He liked what he saw from the Tar Heels as well.

"It was good too," Hemby said. "I felt comfortable with the players there, and the campus was nice. Trimane Goddard was my host, and he just told me about how it was there."

Coaches from North Carolina and NC State have visited Hemby, with the Wolfpack coming yesterday. Because of unique living arrangements, Hemby's been unable to meet with the head coaches, but he has met both assistants heading up his recruitment.

"Me and my dad live in different parts of the state so they'll visit me at school and visit him at the house," Hemby said. "They have went well though. The NC State and UNC coaches have come by here to see me.

"Coach Stroud is recruiting me for State and Coach Lawing for Carolina. I like them both, but they are each different. Coach Stroud is energetic and funny, and Coach Lawing is more laid-back."

It now looks like Hemby will decide between NC State and North Carolina without taking his scheduled official visit to Virginia Tech this weekend after the Hokies landed a cornerback on Tuesday.

"I think it's going to be State or Carolina," Hemby said. "I just think I'm going to stay in-state. I was suppose to go to Virginia Tech this weekend, but I'm not going to.

"I'm going to try and make my decision between now and the holidays."

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