"Anthony Mullis has unlimited potential," Central Cabarrus head coach Donnie Keifer said. "He has the size, he has the pure athleticism, and the body – he's long. We play him at defensive end and linebacker, and he doubles as a tight end, but he's athletic enough to play wide receiver. He works hard in the weight room."
Mullis was on varsity throughout his freshman year and became a starting defensive end midway through the season. Following that season, he moved to Monroe, N.C. and immediately became a starter at defensive end for Monroe High School. He transferred back to Central Cabarrus for his junior year.
As a junior, Mullis remained at defensive end, but an injury within Central Cabarrus' linebacker corps forced him to move to that position.
This coming season, Central Cabarrus will install a hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense with Mullis playing the weak-side end/outside linebacker role.
"He's just so athletic," Keifer said. "He could play down. We've been in more of a 4-3 look, but we're going to be in more of an odd front [this season]. So he will still end up walking up on the tight end. But he'll also be a drop player. He can lock up and play man-to-man or he could play an underneath zone. Or he could come off the edge. So it gives him more versatility than just lining up in a five- or a nine-[technique] and [the offense] won't know where he's going to be all the time."
North Carolina has shown the most interest in Mullis. He has visited the school three times, including the football game against Virginia Tech last season and February's junior day.
"Carolina is a very hype team," Mullis said. "It's a really good school. I like the team, I like the campus, [and] I like the whole coaching staff. I met Coach [Larry] Fedora – I really like him. I feel like I'm already a part of the family."
During the February junior day, Mullis got to intermingle with UNC's coaching staff and a few of its players.
"One of their tight ends was eating lunch with me," Mullis said. "He told me I need to get a little bigger. Right now I weigh 225 [pounds]. I'm trying to get 235-245. He told me to keep doing what I'm doing and to stay on my grades."
UNC hasn't talked about offering, but has requested Mullis' transcripts.
"To me, it seems that they have a lot of sincere interest," Keifer said. "They definitely want him to camp."
Mullis is also hearing from Clemson, Duke, NC State, Princeton, Stanford, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
"The more coaches see him, the more they like him," Keifer said.
This past Saturday, Mullis attended NC State's Junior Day.
"It was very fun," Mullis said. "It was different. It was a whole lot different from Chapel Hill, because everything is spaced out. You have to drive to the field. They have wolves' statues outside their stadium. Their weight room is pretty nice."
Mullis' biological father is Ben Coates, a five-time Pro Bowler with the New England Patriots… Mullis has been a starter on the basketball team since his freshman year… Mullis grew up a UNC and Miami fan.