2012 Intro: Carlos Wray

SHELBY, N.C. --- Inside Carolina profiles junior Carlos Wray, a 6-foot-2, 246-pound defensive end from Shelby High School.

Scouting Report

"He runs well enough," Shelby head football coach Chris Norman said. "He has a good motor and he has good feet. He has a good frame – he has the frame to where he probably could carry 40 more pounds.

"Is he 6-5? No, he's not 6-5. But he plays taller, because he has that long wingspan.

"As far as his attitude and his personality, he's very mature for a rising senior. He's focused on what he wants to do and what he needs to do – he's focused on working out, getting better, and going to class. A lot of kids will get caught up in the glimmer and glamour, but he's pretty grounded."

Prep Career

Wray began a trend at Shelby, which has a rich football tradition, of starting as a freshman.

"When I got into this game, we had some freshmen that were able to start for us, but physically they weren't able to hold up throughout the entire season," Norman said. "But what I've seen over the years is these freshmen that are coming in are bigger and are stronger than they've been in the past – and [Wray] is one of them…

"The thing with Carlos was his size and his natural strength allowed him to come in and play defensive end for us. We looked at him as a linebacker first, but we figured out his best position for us was his hand on the ground."

"They gave me an opportunity to take somebody's spot and I took full advantage of it," Wray said.

"I started out at linebacker when I got here. But I'm not used to playing with my hand up. I told coach ‘If you give me a shot at defensive end – I know it's hard to sell a 6-foot, 205-pound defensive end – I'll give you all that I've got.' That first scrimmage, I showed them what I could do at defensive end and from then on that's where I've been."

Ninety-percent of the time, Wray is asked to put heat on the quarterback and stop the run from the defensive end position. However, he will move around the defensive line and even drop into coverage.

Wray ended his junior season with 78 tackles, including 19 for a loss and 14 sacks, three forced fumbles and a pass breakup.

Wray also plays tight end in Shelby's Wing-T offense and Norman believes he can play guard if needed.

"He runs well enough that he could pull and trap and kick and lead – do things that our guards have to do here," Norman said.


By far, Duke has been recruiting Wray the hardest and is the only school to have offered him a scholarship. North Carolina is running second and is steadily making up ground. He's also receiving interest from Clemson, East Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Wake Forest.

Wray's favorite schools are a direct reflection to the interest levels he's receiving – Duke is his favorite and UNC is the runner-up.

"Coach [David] Cutcliffe and I are tight – we're like married," Wray joked. "At Carolina, Coach [Art] Kaufman and I, we're moving in together – we're building that relationship."

Back in December, Wray began contemplating verbally committing.

"My mom doesn't want me to jump on something too early and something else walks off the table," Wray said. "I think it's best to wait, but I'm not going to wait too long."

Wray plans to get his next batch of visits complete before making a decision. He's visiting Florida this Saturday, UNC next Saturday, and is considering camping at Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, and UNC this summer.

Wray has already made visits to Duke, Georgia, UNC, and South Carolina.

Due to his lack of ideal height, schools have discussed the possibility of moving Wray either to linebacker or defensive tackle.

"When I was at South Carolina, I was told that I was too short to play defensive end," Wray said. "But I told them ‘You look at my highlight film and you tell me that I'm too short for defensive end.' I wasn't trying to be cocky about it, but I feel like I can do it… If I need to make the transition to linebacker – if that's what's better for me – that's what I'll do."

"I think [his position] depends on where he ends up and what that coaching staff projects him," Norman said. "… There's no doubt in my mind that he could play linebacker."

Extra Notes

During the football off-season, Wray works at the YMCA… Wray grew up a big Clemson fan… Wray has three uncles that played collegiate football – Mark Young (Wake Forest), Keith Young (Appalachian State), and Tommy Young (Florida State).

Video provided by Jason Pughe of AthleteVault.com.

Carlos Wray Profile

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