North Carolina's Top 50 Prospects: #11-20

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 begin our look at the top 50 prospects in North Carolina with #11-20.

  • North Carolina's Top 50 2011 Prospects: No. 21-30
  • North Carolina's Top 50 2011 Prospects: No. 31-40
  • North Carolina's Top 50 2011 Prospects: No. 41-50

    Pack Pride breaks down the top 50 prospects in the state of North Carolina for the class of 2011. Today we take a look at No’s 11-20.

    11. DL Devonte Brown
    Jack Britt High School
    6-4 279 5.12
    Offers: UF, AUB, VT, CLEM, UNC, NCSU...
    Outlook: Brown is a player that didn't come on until later in his junior year. Once the light clicked on, he became a major contributor on the Jack Britt defensive line. Physically, Brown is what you're looking for in a defensive tackle but he's nowhere near what he'll need to be in college. He'll need to work on consistency and improve his speed and explosiveness but the tools are there to grow into an every down contributor in college. Brown holds offers from UNC, Clemson, NC State, Auburn, Florida and Virginia Tech. UNC, Florida and Clemson appear to be three of the leading players
    Projection: UNC (unless UF offer is committable)

    12. WR T.J. Thorpe
    Jordan HS
    6-0 177 4.39
    Offers: GT, NCSU, MD, DUKE, ECU
    Outlook: Thorpe is one of the quickest, if not the quickest prospect in the state this year. He has good size but what separates him is his blazing speed. Thorpe has very reliable hands and is difficult to cover one on one. He makes quick, precise cuts to gain separation and then has the jets to out run the defense. Equally impressive are his exploits and ability as a kick returner. Thorpe has a knack for finding a seam and once he does, no one can catch him from behind on the high school level. In March, Thorpe committed to childhood favorite UNC over offers from NC State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, East Carolina and Duke to name a few.

    13. TE Eric Ebron
    Greensboro Smith High School
    6-5 216 4.75
    Offers: BAMA, WV, NCSU, ARK, UVA, LOU
    Outlook: Ebron has a long frame with the potential, with time, to fill out into a big time college tight end. At times, Ebron can make the difficult catches look easy and at others, show a streak of inconsistency. Occasionally, he tends to play more like a wide receiver than a tight end and has to show a willingness to consistently play more physical. Ebron boasted early offers from West Virginia, NC State, Alabama, Arkansas, Virginia and Louisville among others but committed to UNC back in March.

    Ben Councell 14. DE/LB Ben Councell
    AC Reynolds High School
    6'5'' 225
    Offers: AUB, UNC, NCSU, WF...
    Outlook: Councell is a player that boasts as much upside as any member of the top 50. He is a tenacious player that squeezes out every ounce of ability that he possesses. While he lines up at linebacker for Reynolds, he has the frame and long arms to grow into a defensive end once he gets into college. It may take a while for him to latch on but once he's ready to compete physically, Councell has the potential to be a special division one player. After landing offers from UNC, NC State, Wake Forest and Auburn among others, Councell committed to Notre Dame earlier this summer.

    15. QB Marquise Williams
    Mallard Creek High School
    6-2 215
    Offers: 20++
    Outlook: Williams is a player that impresses more in live game action than in a camp or combine setting. He may have the strongest arm of any quarterback in the class of 2010 but will need quite a bit of work on his mechanics and delivery once he gets to college. His footwork could also improve and he doesn't do as well throwing outside his comfort zone. However, he could be a solid starter three or four years down the road. After picking up better than a dozen offers, Williams basically narrowed his choices to UNC and Virginia Tech but committed to the Heels earlier this summer.

    16. QB Vad Lee
    Hillside HS
    6-2 190 4.45
    Offers: AUB, SCAR, NCSU, UNC, USF, WF, DUKE..
    Outlook: As a sophomore, Lee tore up his conference as a wide receiver. As a junior he moved to quarterback out of necessity and now, that's where he plans to play his college ball. In fact, the only schools Lee is seriously considering are the ones that are promising him the option of playing QB. With that in mind, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and NC State have emerged as the front runners. Until now, NC State has been the team to beat but a surprise commitment to Wake Forest by Lee's close friend, Sherman Ragland, has thrown the Pack's lead into question. Lee has said he plans to make a commitment (of sorts) on August 7 at Hillside's Blue-White game. As a side note to Lee, were he being rated as a wide receiver, he would likely have been in our top 10 this year.
    Projection: NC STATE

    17. LB Tremayne McNair
    White Oak High School
    6-2 215
    Offers: CLEM, GT, UNC
    Outlook: On film, the first thing you notice is that nearly every player McNair tackles, goes backwards. He is like a missile flying around hitting people and clearly shows he has no problem laying the lumber. McNair also boasts quick feet which is on display when he lines up at quarterback for White Oak. However, he may be best suited for middle linebacker and there's some potential for him to play defensive end, depending on how he fills out. McNair holds offers from UNC, Georgia Tech and Clemson among others. The Heels are considered to be the odds on favorite although they appear to be slow playing him to some degree. That could help propel the Jackets into the lead.
    Projection: UNC

    18. RB Travis Riley
    AL Brown High School
    5-11 208
    Offers: UNC
    Outlook: Riley is another prospect that probably hasn't landed as much recruiting hype as he deserves. He has very good size but backs that up with great speed. Riley appears to be more of a north-south runner that can use his power to break tackles. He is silky smooth on the field and that helped land an early offer from UNC. Riley wasted no time committing to the Heels over interest from Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and Wake Forest.

    19. S Sherman Ragland
    Southern Durham High School
    6-0 180 4.51
    Offers: NCSU, MD, WF, ECU
    Outlook: Ragland seemingly came out of nowhere during the spring evaluation period but quickly landed offers from NC State, East Carolina, Maryland and Wake Forest among others. Most schools loved his potential at safety. His combination of size, speed, athleticism and tenacity would appear to be the perfect fit for a college safety. However, Ragland loves offense and the allure of playing wide receiver played a prominent role in the rising senior committing to Wake Forest recently. That decision was surprising to some who felt NC State was the team to beat.

    20. OL Jarrod James
    CB Aycock High School
    6-4 283
    Offers: UNC, NCSU
    Outlook: James is an over achieving offensive lineman with a nice frame, great work ethic and super personality. He suffers from palsy in his right shoulder which has limited his strength in the upper body but hasn't let that slow him down on the field. Whether that may be an issue on the collegiate level is a huge question mark. He committed to childhood favorite UNC earlier this year over an offer from NC State.

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