Pack Pride unveils the preseason top 60 prospects in North Carolina. The rankings are based on a combination of college potential and actual production by each player during their careers.
The staff at Pack Pride attended numerous camps and combines this year in addition to film evaluation and discussion with various high school coaches to put together this listing. A player’s academic standing does not figure into the rankings. Players whose name appears in red has an offer from NC State.
30. OL Ty Howle..6-2, 290 pounds...Bunn (NC) High School
Howle won’t blow you away with his frame and build but look at his film and you see a very solid offensive lineman. He is extremely effective at his center spot, creating great leverage while showing the fundamentals you would expect from a coach’s son. He committed to Penn State earlier in the year and will likely play center for the Nittany Lions.
29. OL David Collins..6-7, 290 pounds...East Forsyth, Kernersville, NC
Collins worked very hard during the off season to drop weight and pick up speed and the results were obvious during the spring combines. He will still need to mature physically but that will take care of itself in a full time strength and conditioning program. Collins has long arms and a lot of potential and that played a part in attracting early offers from UNC and East Carolina. Despite being a lifelong NC State fan, Collins committed to the Heels back in March.
28. WR Quan Rucker...6-0, 185 pounds, 4.45 in the 40...West Iredell High School, Statesville, NC
Rucker had 52 receptions for 642 yards and five touchdowns as a junior. He boasts good size and speed and above average athleticism and catching ability. Will likely need some time to develop before he’s a major contributor but has the tools to become a solid player down the road. He committed to Wake Forest over offers from NC State, Maryland and Virginia.
27. WR Ray Ray Davis...5-11, 195 pounds, 4.45 in the 40...Sun Valley High School, Monroe, NC
Davis has a very nice frame and build for a wideout. He impressed at the invitation only Shrine combine held earlier in the spring with his catching ability. He had 49 catches for 663 yards and ten touchdowns as a junior. He committed to UNC back in February. The Heels were his first offer.
26. QB Danny O’Brien..6-3, 195 pounds, 4.65 in the 40...East Forsyth High School, Kernersville, NC
O’Brien is a solid QB prospect with nice throwing mechanics and decent arm strength. He boasts very good mobility and is a threat to run with the football. O’Brien threw for 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior which helped him land early offers from Maryland, Duke and East Carolina. He committed to the Terps back in June.
25. RB Desmond Scott...5-9, 185 pounds, 4.4 in the 40...Hillside High School, Durham, NC
Scott is a promising player with very good speed, athleticism and overall football ability. He is smallish which may mean he’ll ultimately end up at cornerback in college. It didn’t appear that the in-state schools- UNC and NC State- ever made a huge push for him. Some have him rated higher but with so-so stats as a junior and his decision not to attend any combines during the spring made it tough to justify ranking him any higher. Scott selected Rutgers back in June but recently switched his commitment to Duke.
24. OL Perry Simmons...6-4, 260 pounds, 4.9 in the 40...Sanderson High School, Raleigh, NC
Simmons is a tall, lean lineman who plays with a non-stop motor. Participating in camps at NC State and Virginia Tech, Simmons was solid whether it be at defensive end or offensive tackle. Showed a good burst off the edge and solid foot work in pass pro. He may be best suited for offensive tackle but is an all-around solid athlete and one of the real surprises of the spring. He holds early offers from Duke, East Carolina, Western Carolina and Navy along with interest from Virginia Tech, NC State and UNC. His father (Brett) is a former coach at State. Simmons recently committed to Duke.
23. CB Dominique Tate...5-10, 180 pounds, 4.4 in the 40...Carver High School, Winston-Salem, NC
Tate is one of the hidden gems in North Carolina. He boasts solid cover skills and finished off 2007 with 50 tackles and seven interceptions. Tate landed early scholarship offers from Wake Forest and Duke but committed to the Deacs back in June. NC State was another school that was very interested in Tate’s talent.
22. CB D.J. Bunn...6-0, 185 pounds, 4.8 in the 40...Smithfield-Selma (NC) High School
Bunn has good size and was very productive as a junior, tallying 110 tackles and four interceptions from his safety spot. Also rushed for better than 600 yards while sharing snaps with teammate Justin Dixon. Committed to UNC earlier this year over interest from East Carolina, NC State and South Carolina.
21. RB J.R. Rhodes...5-9, 198 pounds, 4.5 in the 40...Jordan High School, Durham, NC
Rhodes is a super talent that, were he two inches taller would probably be sitting at a dozen offers or better. He is explosive on film with uncanny running back instincts. Rhodes is elusive and tough to handle in the open field. He doesn’t have blazing speed but is certainly fast enough. The rising senior currently favors UNC and also has offers from Akron, Buffalo and Ball State.