This past Saturday, NC State played host to their second annual adidas Elite Camp. The combine drew more than 200 high school players, primarily from North Carolina but from as far away as California. The Wolfpack coaching staff was out in full force to observe the event as well as current Pack players, Bryan Clark and Tramain Hall.
Perhaps headlining the players in attendance was DT Aleric Mullins. Mullins recently decided to transfer back to East Wake High School from Caruthersville, Mo- citing the chance to play against a higher caliber of competition as one of the main factors behind his decision. At the combine, Mullins reported that he checked in at 6-2, 289 pounds and ran a 5.0-second 40-yard dash. Most impressive is that there are few players in the nation with Mullins' size that can run the way he does. His stride is much more reflective of a linebacker than that of a player pushing 300 pounds.
In one on one drills, Mullins was dominant. He made it clear in the early going that there was no offensive lineman in attendance that could even come close to slowing him down. Mullins used a variety of moves to beat every lineman he faced and supplemented those moves with impressive burst off the line of scrimmage. Pack DL coach Todd Stroud had to be impressed with what he saw out of Mullins.
There were several talented wide receivers in attendance but the most impressive player we observed was, once again, Marshall Williams was Riverside High School in Durham, NC. Listed previously at 6-2, 160 pounds- the only drawback to Williams' game currently would have to be his lack of size. As far as play-making capability, none were better this past Saturday. Williams has super acceleration and an ability to go up high over smaller defensive backs to make the catch. Williams also has tremendous concentration and made more than one acrobatic, circus-like catch with one happening right in front of Pack TE coach Curt Cignetti.
Another WR we came away impressed with is Javon Brumsey from Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City, NC. Although Pack Pride has not received the official results, Brumsey looked impressive and word is the Pack is keeping a close eye on this rising senior.
One name certain to be on the minds of coaches and recruiting fans alike in the years to come is ATH Greg Little from Hillside High School in Durham. Little measured at 6-2, 200 pounds which is even more impressive when you consider he's currently in the tenth grade. Little has amazing athleticism and made more than a few DB's look silly in one on one drills when he used a variety of moves to shake up opposing DB's. Nebraska has already made a verbal offer and you can expect a flood of offers for Little over the coming months. In-state, Little told Pack Pride that NC State is a school he is considering although it is still extremely early.
Speaking of Hillside, another standout that had a good showing was LB Juan Corders. He told Pack Pride that he measured in at 6-2, 229 pounds, had 18 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press and ran a 4.9-second 40-yard dash- very respectable given that it was electronically timed. Corders was timed in under 4.5-seconds at a recent Shrine Bowl combine. He is currently hearing from schools across the region including NC State, UNC, Virginia Tech, Virginia and others.
Perhaps the most impressive QB prospect on hand was Vaughn Charlton from Avon Grove High School in West Grove, Pa. Pack OC Marc Trestman recently made the trek north to check on Charlton first hand and watched him intently during warm up drills at the combine. Vaughn stands 6-4 and weighs in the 190-200 pound range. An all-league selection as a junior, Vaughn has a good presence and showed a nice touch on his long ball and underneath passes. Although he didn't have much of a chance to display his talents in full last year due to his team running a wing-T offense, that'll likely change in 2005 as the team goes to more of a passing attack.
Vaughn reported that UNC has verbally offered and the Pack is closely following the talented signal-caller as well. He will make a return trip to Raleigh for the Pack's football camp this summer.
Close on Vaughn's heels as the top QB and perhaps the sleeper of the event was QB Kevin Atkins was Southern Durham High School. Atkins has an impressive frame and a very quick, snap release of the ball on his passes. He looked to have a stronger arm than Vaughn but appears to be much rawer. Should he improve on his junior season look for Atkins to get his fair share of looks from college recruiters this fall. Be on the lookout over the next several days as Pack Pride will have individual features on several of the standouts from Saturday's event.