One player that could potentially come out of nowhere and become a major target on the recruiting scene is tailback Dion McNair from Randleman (NC) High School. At 6-0, 185 pounds, McNair has a solid frame and he recently proved he has the speed to match as he ripped off a blazing 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the Ragsdale Shrine Bowl combine.
In 2004, McNair's numbers were hardly eye-opening until you consider that he rushed for 596 on 104 carries (5.73 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns in just four games of action. The rising senior broke a bone in his ankle which forced him to miss the vast majority of last season.
There's little doubt that McNair will be a man on a mission in 2005 to prove he's division one material and several schools have thrown their hat in the ring in case he does just that.
McNair is currently hearing the most from South Carolina, NC State and UNC. He made it up for the Wolfpack's spring game, and it's clear that NC State is a team high atop McNair's wish list.
He talked with Pack Pride recently about his thoughts on the Wolfpack program.
"I've met some of the coaches and they've got a pretty good coaching staff," he said. "The facilities are nice. I guess it's a place where I want to be. They haven't been by the school yet though."
If he stays healthy, it's likely McNair could emerge as one of North Carolina's most prolific rushers this season. He also thinks he could play on the defensive side of the ball as well.
"When I go to college if I don't play running back I think I could play strong safety."
With much to prove and one final season to do it, McNair will enter his senior campaign with high expectations. He'll also begin his final year in high school with two bitter rivals atop his list of college favorites.
"I would say NC State and UNC are my top two right now," said McNair.