Although NC State landed one of the nation's premier QB prospects back in August when Justin Burke committed to the Wolfpack, there has still been talk that State may take a second QB. One of the names that has surfaced often to potentially fill that spot is Southern Durham (NC) High School signal-caller Kevin Atkins.
At 6-1, 210 pounds and boasting a 4.7-second 40-yard dash, Atkins is a solid athlete that has helped guide the Spartans to a 9-0 record and reputation as one of the high school powerhouses in North Carolina. Although somewhat overshadowed by his all-american teammate, OL Carl Johnson, Atkins has more than done his share in leading Southern to an undefeated record.
So far this season Atkins has rushed for 481 yards and five touchdowns while completing 73 of 148 passes for 1,353 yards and 10 scores. 2005 has been a year of transition for Atkins as Southern veered away from the predominantly run-based attacks of former coaches Anthony Barbour and Gordon Walters. New head coach Jeff Parker installed an Urban Meyer-type offense after visiting the Gators over the summer and that has helped Atkins to showcase his ability in the pass game. It also helped Atkins to earn an invite to the Shrine Bowl held later this year. The senior QB said the invitation was a great honor but he's focused on finishing out the 2005 season strong.
"Actually, Coach Parker told me last Monday that I had been invited," said Atkins. "I was real excited to be invited but I have to keep my head focused on winning the state championship and then worry about the Shrine Bowl when the time comes."
On the recruiting front, it has been rather quiet for Atkins despite the honors and impressive stats. He gave Pack Pride the latest.
"Right now, I'm hearing the most from South Carolina State and East Carolina," he said. "East Carolina really calls me a lot. I still like NC State, UNC, Wake Forest and Duke. I'm not hearing from State much. The last time I talked to them was at the Carolina game and I got a chance to talk to coach Trestman. The thing I like about State is coach Trestman. He's got such a good knowledge of the game and you know he can make you a better QB."
While the Pack has struggled on the field, Atkins said that, despite the troubles, he would love to play for the Pack.
"The losses have affected me a little but not much," said Atkins. "I know what they have there. They've just made some mistakes and once they correct those, they'll be fine. They're still a school that I would like to play for."