South Columbus (Tabor City, N.C.) jumbo athlete Ethan Farmer was a force on offense and defense last season as a junior, accumulating 15 catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns at tight end and 55 tackles as a defensive lineman. The 6-4, 262-pound rising senior has potential at a number of positions on the next level, including tight end, interior offensive lineman, defensive end and defensive tackle, though most college coaches project him initially as a tight end or defensive tackle.
"He is a big, strong kid," South Columbus head coach Jake Fonvielle said. "He is built well. He is 6-4, close to 265 pounds, and he runs a 4.85 in the 40. I feel like he'll play defensive line on the next level. Probably, he'll be a defensive tackle. Most colleges want their defensive ends to run 4.6 forties these days. As a tight end, he catches well and he runs well. He is also a great kid. Everything is 'yes, sir' 'no, sir' with him."
Farmer boasts nine major Division 1A scholarship offers, including Alabama, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, N.C. State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He is in no rush to make a decision.
"I'm just going to take my time and wait until Signing Day," Farmer said. "I want to take my time."
Five schools currently stand above the rest, but Farmer clarifies that this is not a final five and could change.
"I've got a top five right now," Farmer said. "There is Alabama, Clemson, Virginia, Tennessee and probably N.C. State. Virginia Tech is probably sixth and North Carolina is right there with Virginia Tech.
"This is just right now. I'm still open."
Visit-wise, the versatile Tar Heel state product has been to Clemson, Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State. He has not taken any visits this summer but will make official visits in the coming months. Nothing has been scheduled, but he has an idea of where he would like to go.
"There is Clemson, Virginia, Tennessee. The fourth visit right now would probably be N.C. State," Farmer said. "I haven't really decided on all of them."
Clemson is a program mentioned often with Farmer, who admits the Tigers have impressed. UNC is another school of significance because Farmer grew up a Tar Heel fan.
"Clemson is definitely high on my list, but that could change," Farmer said. "The coaches are good and the facilities are good. I like the school. I grew up a North Carolina fan but I really watched a lot of Clemson football. I still am a Carolina fan, though.
He added, "The only school that hasn't offered that I'm high on is North Carolina. They haven't offered yet, but I'm hoping they do. We'll see what happens after they see a couple of my games my senior year."
Farmer has yet to visit either of the Virginia ACC programs but continues to consider both seriously.
"I've known of Virginia for a while," Farmer said. "They have had good tight ends there. Heath Miller plays for Pittsburgh. I've watched a lot of ACC football and I know they have had good tight ends. I talk to Coach Lineburg from Virginia all the time.
"Virginia Tech is still under consideration. I talk to the DL coach, Coach Wiles. I enjoy talking to them and they are still in contact with me."