Although early in the recruiting process, three legitimate division one quarterbacks have emerged in the state of North Carolina.
Jacob Charest from Butler High School and Braden Hanson from Charlotte Latin already boast scholarship offers. A third prospect, AJ Blue from North Gaston High School in Dallas, NC, was on hand at the Butler Shrine Bowl combine this past weekend with the hopes of raising his stock and improving his chances of landing that first offer.
At 6-1, 198 pounds, Blue is built like a tank and physically, looks like he's ready for division one football now. He ran a solid 4.62-second 40-yard dash and recorded an impressive 18 reps of 185 pounds in the bench press. Blue has the look of a standout linebacker but it's on the offensive side of the ball where he's being recruited and he was one of the state's best at that position in 2006.
As a junior, Blue passed for 1,800 yards and added 1,300 yards on the ground as he led North Gaston to a 10-4 record and the third round of the state playoffs while averaging better than 40 points per game on the season. For his efforts, Blue was named to the All-Gazette first team as well as being named the offensive player of the year.
Because of his athleticism and potential, Blue is receiving heavy interest from a host of schools, including Tennessee, Clemson, NC State, UNC, Virginia Tech, Duke, East Carolina and South Carolina among others. Although he's yet to earn a scholarship, the rising senior said he thinks several may be close.
"I don't have any offers yet but Clemson, State and UNC seem like they're close," said Blue. "But Clemson, they were the first school that told me I might get an offer."
For now, Blue listed four schools that stand out from the rest with an out of state program leading the way.
"My favorites right now are State, Virginia Tech, UNC and Tennessee. I would say Virginia Tech is my top school. They've got my style of play. Coach Mike O'Cain came down and talked to me but I haven't been up there yet for a visit yet."
Blue broke down a couple of his top schools.
Tennessee- "Peyton Manning is my favorite player," he said. "He learned a lot while he was at Tennessee so hopefully I can go there and learn a lot, too. I was supposed to visit there today but I had to come here but they've shown a lot of interest."
NC State- "I've already been there for a visit," he said. "They've got some pretty nice facilities. I like their coaching staff. They have a good relationship together and they've been together for a long time so I think that's pretty good. They stay in touch with me weekly. They send mail everyday. Coach McCollum, he's my recruiting coach and he text messages me like every other day. When I went up there, I talked to him a lot and I got to meet coach O'Brien."