2008 Focus: Tobias Palmer

PITTSBORO, N.C. -- Tobias Palmer had a huge junior season, and he is ready to make a name for himself on the upcoming combine circuit.

Tobias Palmer had a huge junior season, and he is ready to make a name for himself on the upcoming combine circuit.

Palmer, a 6-foot, 180-pound tailback led the area in rushing, as the Pittsboro (NC) Northwood junior tallied 1,500 yards and 31 all-purpose touchdowns, including 24 on the ground. He rushed for 1,543 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore.

"He can take it to the house everytime he touches the football," said Northwood head coach Bill Hall. "I think he could play running back in college, if he can put on about 20 pounds. We don't use him there much, but he's the best defensive back we have on our team.

"His speed is his best attribute. Tobias isn't a 4.4 guy... try 4.2. He [had] been timed between 4.2 and 4.3 at some combines [last] summer."

Palmer is also one of the state's top track athletes, as he finished second in the state in the 100-meter dash as sophomore, posting a 10.60. Blessed with blazing speed and outstanding agility, he hopes to play tailback on the next level but knows his future could be on the defensive side of the ball.

"I prefer to be a running back because I've been playing that ever since I was a little kid," said Palmer. "I know a couple of teams have mentioned me as a defensive back. I don't have a problem with it, but I prefer running back. I've played defensive back some, but I'm more comfortable at running back."

Programs all across the region are in hot pursuit. Florida State, Miami, NC State, Michigan, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, North Carolina, Clemson and other colleges are expressing heavy interest.

When asked to name a top five, Palmer didn't hesitate.

"Florida State, NC State, Virginia Tech, Oregon, and Hawaii," he said. "I got a letter from [Hawaii] recently. I don't mind going anywhere for school. I'm just trying to go to college.

"I'm looking for academics and a good football program. I'm looking to major in business. I just want a school that fits me."

Two ACC programs appear to have the early advantage.

"Growing up I rooted for [NC] State and Florida State," said Palmer. "I like both of them a lot right now. With Florida State I liked their style of play and their head coach. At State, I liked their coach, coach Amato, before he was fired. I also like their facilities and the overall college."

NC State mailed Palmer a written scholarship last year, but head coach Chuck Amato was fired after the season. Amato is now an assistant coach at Florida State. How interested are the Seminoles?

"I got a letter from Florida State today actually," Palmer said. "I haven't opened it yet, but that's really the first I've heard from Florida State. I'm hoping they send some more."

Palmer wasn't sure if his offer from NC State was still outstanding from the new coaching staff, but he did state that head coach Tom O'Brien and assistant Mike Archer are recruiting him for the Wolfpack.

He plans on attending Junior Days at South Carolina (March 3rd) and NC State (March 4th), and he will also attend one of the Shrine Bowl combines and the upcoming Scout.com combine.

Don't expect an early decision from Palmer.

"I was thinking about making an early decision, but I'm now thinking of waiting until after my senior season is over to see how things go. I want to see who all will come after me."

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