North Carolina's Top Prospects: #1-10

After attending several combines, watching sets of film and speaking with high school coaches across the state, we at Pack Pride are ready to release our in-state rankings. Today we conclude our evaluation of the in-state class with the #1-10 prospects in the state of North Carolina.

North Carolina's Top 50 Prospects: #11-20
North Carolina's Top 50 Prospects: #21-30
North Carolina's Top 50 Prospects: #31-40
North Carolina's Top 50 Prospects: #41-50

10. DE Fre’Shad Hunter...6-4, 245 pounds...Cary High School

Prospect Notes...Hunter has established himself as one of the premier defensive linemen in the state for the class of 2010. Sizewise he is somewhat between defensive end and defensive tackle so only time may determine where he ultimately ends up playing in college. Previously a linebacker in high school, Hunter has adjusted to well at defensive end and is very explosive off the edge. What sets him apart is his attitude and non-stop motor. He goes all out and once he begins to learn the nuances of the position has the potential to become a very solid contributor in college. The one question mark with Hunter currently is in the class room. On the recruiting front, NC State, East Carolina, LSU and Florida are a few of the schools that have been listed prominently.

Individual Picks...James...10...Steve...9...Miller...7

Wolfpack Connection...NC State offered first and have been listed as Hunter’s favorite on numerous occasions. However, academics could play a role here which means ECU could become a factor. LSU and Tennessee also appear to be in the race.

9. LB Kendall Moore...6-3, 230 pounds...Southeast Raleigh

Prospect Notes...Moore is a fine prospect who earned a ton of recruiting interest and offers over the course of the spring and early summer. He has good instincts for a linebacker and doesn’t mind filling and delivering a blow. Athletically, he may not be as talented as others and he’ll need to maintain his weight if he’s to stay at LB in college. Should he continue to get bigger then a move to defensive end is certainly a possibility. NC State offered and finished in Moore’s top two but a recent visit to South Bend was enough to lead him to commit to Notre Dame.

Individual Picks...James...9...Steve...10...Miller...10

Commitment...Notre Dame

8. OL T.J. Leifheit...6-7, 320 pounds...Hoggard High School

Prospect Notes...Leifheit is a bulldozing offensive lineman that is tremendous in the run game. He generates good push and leverage despite his height and is a fierce competitor on the field. Pass pro, foot quickness and overall agility are still somewhat of a question since Leifheit didn’t participate in any one on ones during the spring combine circuit. Regardless, he has picked up a ton of scholarship pffers from around the country. Currently UNC appears to be the team to beat.

Individual Picks...James...7...Steve...8...Miller...8

Wolfpack Connection...The Pack offered early on and would love to add Leifheit to their current commitments along the offensive line. While State is still technically in the hunt, they would likely need to come out strong in 2009 and have UNC falter to have a realistic shot.

7. TE Ethan Farmer...6-2, 260 pounds...South Columbus High School

Prospect Notes...Some questioned Farmer’s decision to work out at tight end during a combine held earlier in the spring. After the big guy ran a few routes it quickly became clear that Farmer has the talent to play just about anywhere he likes. He has uncanny size, power and finesse. Surprisingly he shows very good catching ability and proved he could make tough catches against smaller, quicker players. He is probably the top jumbo athlete in the state this year and one of the more under-rated prospects on a national level. Farmer likes UNC but has not received an offer. Clemson and NC State are two programs that have offered and appear to be getting a serious look from Farmer.

Individual Picks...James...8...Steve...7...Miller...12

Wolfpack Connection...The Wolfpack has made Farmer a huge priority and they appear to be solidly in the chase. Some feel Clemson and NC State are the two main contenders but the battle for his commitment will likely be drawn out so there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way.

6. WR Tony Creecy...6-0, 200 pounds...Southern Durham

Prospect Notes...Creecy is the top wide receiver in the state and it really isn’t even close. Physically, Creecy is extremely mature for a rising senior. He uses his strength to avoid jams at the line and has a knack for muscling his way to the ball during routes. Creecy isn’t a blazer but always seems to make the play regardless of the competition. Physically he has the appearance of a running back and will get more carries in 2009 to show what he can do. Creecy has quick feet and above average instincts. What he lacks athletically he more than makes up for with tremendous football IQ. Perhaps even more impressive is Creecy’s dedication and love for the game. With nothing to prove during the spring after landing roughly 30 offers, Creecy still has participated in numerous camps, combines and 7 on 7 tournaments simply because of his desire to compete. He committed to NC State back in June.

Individual Picks...James...6...Steve...6...Miller...6

Commitment...NC State

5. S David Amerson...6-3, 180 pounds...Dudley High School

Prospect Notes...Amerson was somewhat of an unknown entering the spring combine tour but came out as one of the state’s top up and coming prospects. He is tremendous in coverage, plays extremely physical and uses those attributes to harass receivers and keep them out of their comfort zone while running routes. Amerson also uses his hands well and shows that he doesn’t mind mixing it up and delivering a hit. Perhaps the biggest plus to Amerson is his upside. He’s still learning the position and physically, still has plenty of room to grow. On the recruiting side, NC State currently leads the way with Notre Dame in second and Virginia Tech close behind. Amerson has indicated that he’d like to make a decision prior to his senior year.

Individual Picks...James...5...Steve...5...Miller...9

Wolfpack Connection...Amerson has made numerous unofficial visits to NC State and appeared very close to committing until he was persuaded to hold off until after visiting Notre Dame. For now that Pack leads but they were also the team to beat for Kendall Moore before his trip to South Bend so that visit is one that can’t be taken lightly.

4. DE Gabe King...6-4, 250 pounds...School unknown

Prospect Notes...Physically, King is probably th most impressive player in the state. He looks like a player entering his senior year of college instead of a rising senior in high school. He shows good quickness off the edge and is simply too powerful and too quick for most offensive linemen to stop. Sizewise he could certainly fill out and ultimately end up at defensive tackle. King needs to become more consistent and off the field issues have dogged him for much of the past year. The conventional wisdom has been that UNC is the team to beat although King says he’s seriously looking at Cal and Oregon State.

Individual Picks...James...4...Steve...3...Miller...2

Wolfpack Connection...NC State showed interest in King early on but for their own reasons decided to stop recruiting him. It is unknown whether they will change that stance headed forward.

3. ATH Keenan Allen...6-2, 195 pounds...Northern Guilford

Prospect Notes...Allen is the top athlete in the state in the class of 2010 in our opinion. He is a silky smooth athlete that could project at either wide receiver or safety. Allen is effortless on the field and seems to be expending little energy until you realize he’s outrunning everyone else on the field. Behind the scenes some feel his mind-set is better suited for offense although he is extremely effective from his defensive back spot. For now, Alabama and Clemson are the main two players and it is likely he’ll choose one of those two programs.

Individual Picks...James...2...Steve...4...Miller...4

Wolfpack Connection...NC State has tried desperately to break into Allen’s lead group of schools but to date have made little or no progress. They aren’t a serious factor at the current time.

2. DE Alfy Hill...6-4, 245 pounds...West Brunswick

Prospect Notes...Hill is simply a blur coming off the edge and he’s shown he’s not just a combine warrior- his junior film is equally impressive. He appears to be a “thin” 245 pounds which means there’s quite a bit of upside for him physically. Although he will need to mature and continue to learn the defensive end position, he possesses all the intangibles to grow into an impact player once in college. NC State was the first school to offer but UNC leads the way and appears set to land him in the near future. He will make an unofficial visit to Alabama before deciding.

Individual Picks...James...3...Steve...2...Miller...3

Wolfpack Connection...NC State was the first to offer and has remained steadfastly in Hill’s top three. However, close isn’t good enough in recruiting and unless they can get Hill back on campus, will likely miss out.

1. OL Rob Crisp...6-7, 300 pounds...Chapel Hill High School

Prospect Notes...Xavier Nixon was our choice as the number one player in North Carolina last year. At the time, we had little doubt that Rob Crisp was even better, despite being just a rising junior. Make no mistake though, Crisp is nowhere near a finished product. He could certainly improve in the run game and has tons of upside physically once he gets into a college strength and conditioning program. However, his foot speed, ability to redirect, use of hands and overall agility and athleticism are on the elite level as it relates to high school prospects. As previously mentioned, he is just scratching the surface of what he could become down the road once he matures and learns how to compete on the collegiate level. Crisp committed to NC State earlier this year over roughly 30 other offers including Georgia, UNC, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Tennessee.

Individual Picks...James...1...Steve...1...Miller...1

Commitment...NC State

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