After last spring and summer's combines, camps, senior season, film evaluation and Shrine Bowl game, the staff at Pack Pride has put together our post season look at the top 30 prospects from the state of North Carolina. Today we break down numbers 1-10.
1. OL Carl Johnson...6-5, 345 pounds, 5.48 in the 40 (combine timed) Southern High School, Durham, NC
Offers...30+ offers...Schools...Johnson committed to Florida on June 4
Notes...Johnson is blessed with all the qualities that can't be coached- size, quickness, strength and agility. He'll need to become an every down player but that shouldn't be a problem once he gets to Gainesville. Johnson definitely has all the tools necessary to become a star on the Gators offensive line.
NC State connection...NC State offered Johnson, and he was a major in-state target. Early on it appeared the Pack was in good shape but a trip to Florida over the summer sealed the deal for the Gators.
2. LB Brandon Spikes ...6-4, 230 pounds, 4.7 in the 40...Crest High School, Shelby, NC
Offers...30+ offers....Schools...Florida, Alabama, Virginia Tech, NC State...Leader...Spikes lists Bama, VT and Florida as his top three.
Notes...Spikes is a great LB prospect but, realistically, could probably grow into a fabulous defensive end. He's very rangy, a sure tackler and quick to locate the ball. Just as impressive are his leadership skills on the field. Spikes has that big-time aura about him and it will simply be a question of whether he can make the jump to the demands of a D-1 middle linebacker.
NC State connection...Pack has offered, and he is a major in-state target but any Wolfpack chances seem remote.
3. LB Deunta Williams...6-2, 191 pounds, 4.85 in the 40 (combine timed) White Oak High School, Jacksonville, NC
Offers...NC State, UNC, Duke, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Virginia...Schools...Williams committed to UNC on July 28, 2005
Notes...Williams may start out as a wide receiver for UNC but his talent is unmistakable on defense. He has tremendous athleticism, speed and a nose for the ball. With a little added bulk he could become a force for the Heels at OLB. Williams was very impressive at the Shrine Bowl.
NC State connection...NC State recruited and offered Williams prior to his UNC commitment.
4. DT Aleric Mullins...6-2, 291 pounds, 5.04 in the 40 (combine timed) East Wake High School, Wendell, NC
Offers...20+ ...Schools...Auburn, Oklahoma, Florida, Tennessee, UNC...Leader...Mullins appears to be fairly open but the out of state schools may have an upper hand. In-state, UNC is hoping to get an official visit in January.
Notes...Mullins may not have prototypical size for a defensive tackle but he more than makes up for it with toughness and explosiveness off the line of scrimmage. He runs well and has shown the ability to consistently beat opposing offensive linemen at the point of attack. Some have hinted grades could be a slight concern.
NC State connection...NC State has offered, and he was a major in-state target but the Pack faded late in the year and don't appear to be a player.
5. ATH Crezdon Butler...6-0, 173 pounds, 4.47 in the 40 (combine timed) Asheville (NC) High School
Offers...NC State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Virginia, UNC, South Carolina, Maryland...Schools...Butler committed to Clemson on August 4, 2005.
Notes....Butler is a fabulous athlete that could make an impact for Clemson at a variety of positions whether it be WR, PR, KR or CB. Has impressive speed and enough shake to make people miss.
NC State connection...NC State offered Butler and he was a major in-state target but the Pack could never get him on campus and ultimately lost him to the Tigers.
6. RB Josh Adams...5-11, 170 pounds, 4.5 in the 40 Cary (NC) High
Offers...Tennessee, Clemson, Maryland, LSU, NC State, UNC, Duke, Georgia ...Schools...Adams' top five currently consists of UNC, Maryland, Wake Forest, NC State and LSU...Leader...It has been impossible to get any real grasp on where Adams may be leaning. There have been some concerns floated about regarding Adams' grades.
Notes....Adams put together another stellar year for Cary High School but struggled all week at the Shrine Bowl. Adams is slightly built and many question whether he will be able to make the transition to an every down, D-1 running back. He has super quickness and instincts but may ultimately be better suited as a defensive back.
NC State connection...NC State has offered Adams, and he looks to be a major target for the Wolfpack. The Pack has gone all out for Adams and some think they may be a team to beat but we haven't heard enough solid info to back that up.
7. OL Hutch Eckerson ...6-6, 275 pounds, 4.91 in the 40...Lumberton High School...Lumberton, NC
Offers...Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, NC State, Clemson, South Carolina...Schools...Virginia Tech, NC State, Virginia, South Carolina...Leader...Virginia Tech and NC State
Notes...Eckerson blossomed from 2004 to 2005 and was extremely impressive at the Shrine Bowl. He goes hard every play, does a great job of engaging and occupying the opposing defensive tackle and plays with a nasty streak. With time, Eckerson could become a major OL get for some lucky school
NC State connection...A legacy recruit, Eckerson's father, Todd, was a 6-5, 280-pound tackle for the Pack from 1978 to 1982 and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1982 NFL Draft. NC State and Virginia Tech are Eckerson's top two but it seems that the Pack has never completely recovered from their late scholarship offer. For now, it's a dogfight with the Hokies.
8. CB Rico Bell ...5-11, 177 pounds, 4.29 in the 40 (combine timed)...Vance High School, Charlotte, NC
Offers...Tennessee, NC State, Clemson, Virginia, Maryland, and Boston College...Schools...Bell committed to Virginia on Dec 5, 2005
Notes...Bell is a cat-quick, solidly built safety prospect. He plays with impressive toughness and doesn't shy away from contact. His cover skills will need polishing but we think he was one of the more impressive defensive backs at the Shrine Bowl.
NC State connection...The Pack offered Bell and turned up the heat as the year wore on but Virginia's early lead was too much to overcome.
9. ATH LaMarcus Bond...5-9, 175 pounds, 4.4 in the 40...Hertford County High School, Ahoskie, NC
Offers...NC State, East Carolina, UNC, Virginia Tech, Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, Duke, Clemson....Schools...NC State, ECU, Virginia, Virginia Tech...Leader...Bond has been somewhat noncommittal on a leader but State may be close
Notes...Bond showed again in 2005 why he was one of the state's most dynamic athletes. He excelled at running back, wide receiver, cornerback and on special teams. Bond has impressive speed and the ability to make people miss. His coach has compared him to NC State receiver Tramain Hall. Grades may be a concern.
NC State connection...Pack has offered and he is a major in-state target. Coach Diaz has done a great job recruiting him but it appears he will take a couple more visits before making a decision.
10. DL Tavares Brown ...6-2, 250 pounds, 4.6 in the 40...Richmond County High School, Rockingham, NC
Offers...NC State, Maryland, UNC...Schools...Committed to UNC on Oct 25, 2005
Notes...Brown is another prospect that may not possess prototypical size for a defensive lineman. However, he is a kid that simply goes out and gets the job done. Physically, resembles former Pack DE Maurice Charles. Brown has super quickness and finds a way to make to plays. Could become a good one down the road for UNC.
NC State connection...NC State offered Brown and really liked him but UNC has built a solid pipeline to Richmond County and won him in October