Local QB Hoping to Shed Sleeper Tag

QB Kevin Atkins was one of the spring's most impressive QB's. Find out who he's hearing from and whether the Pack made his early top three.

QB Kevin Atkins (6-1, 210 pounds, 4.7-seconds in the 40-yard dash) from Southern Durham (NC) High School proved to be one of the state's most impressive QB's after the recent conclusion of spring combines. Although he's spearheaded an offense built around the run at Southern, Atkins did complete 93 of 181 passes for 1,335 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2004. However, head coach Jeff Parker has indicated the Spartans plan to take on a more balanced approach in 2005, a fact that has to be music to the ears of Atkins.

"I think we're committed to passing the ball more so I really think we're going to do it," said Atkins. "Last year we only threw the ball eight or nine times a game so I think we'll definitely be more balanced."

That opportunity should give Atkins the chance to build on impressive showings at the adidas combine and the invitation only Shrine Bowl combine held at UNC. The rising senior was admittedly raw but showed all the tools to potentially contend for a division one offer later in the year. He has a strong arm and a quick release but seemed most comfortable when he was able to use his athleticism to make plays.

While the key word with Atkins may be potential, several schools are already showing quite a bit of interest.

"Right now, I'm hearing from Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest, Duke and Notre Dame," Atkins said. "Those are probably the main ones. I'm planning on camping at NC State, Clemson, Duke and Wake Forest this summer.

"I'd say my top schools right now are NC State, Clemson and Duke."

While he hopes to play QB in college, Atkins does have the measurables to potentially play another position in college. He told Pack Pride that simply getting a ride to college is much more important to him than where he ultimately plays.

"I think it depends on where I go as to whether I play QB," he said. "I mean, I really want to play on the collegiate level. But the main thing for me is education and, after that, would be the coaching staff. I would like to be within a distance where I can drive home but distance doesn't really matter to me."

While he'll be working hard to impress college coaches over the summer, Atkins stated that he's always dreamed of playing for one school in particular. His childhood favorite may not exactly be what the in-state schools would like to hear.

"Miami is my favorite team," said Atkins. "I grew up loving them."

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