Football Recruiting Board: 10/25/01

Mac takes an up to date look at the Tar Heel football recruiting scene with updates on many of the Tar Heel prospects...

Quarterback

Important to get one a year for depth and development.

 

2002 Projected Depth Chart

1. Darian Durant (5-11, 225, So-3)

2. Chris Stephens (6-2, 215, Jr-4)

3. Matt Baker (6-3, 215, Fr-1)

4. Aaron Leak (6-3, 220, So-3)

 

Transfer Commitment: CJ Stephens (6-2, 215, 4.75, FL) - Stephens was considered a top 100 national recruiting coming out of HS in 99. He signed with FL, where his father was and is the OL coach, but due to a torn ACL suffered late in his senior year of HS, he quickly got "behind" other young and talented QBs Rex Grossman and Brock Berlin.  Was an SEC academic all-American in each of the past two years and had a 3.9 GPA and 1300 SAT coming out of HS. Transferred to UNC this summer and will be eligible to play in 02 and 03.

 

1. Possible Transfer - One of the nation's best overall prospects in recent years, who had UNC as a finalist before committing elsewhere, has reportedly made inquiries about the possibility of transferring into UNC (eligible for 2003-2005). Even if this comes to pass, however, don't look for anything to happen until after the fall semester at the earliest, or more likely after the spring semester.

 

2. Wyatt Sexton (6-3, 190, 4.75, FL) - Like Stephens, is the son of a prominent football coach in the state of FL - FSU's RB coach Billy Sexton. Passed for 2,900 yards and 28 TDs as a junior. Florida State, UNC, and Illinois have offered. 3.9 GPA and 1300 SAT.  Currently, FSU and UNC are his top two with FSU holding a slight lead due to his father's current status and the fact that mom and dad both graduated from FSU.  If, however, he sees a logjam and can be swayed by CJ Stephens' positive experience, UNC has a chance. Has been flying up the recruiting rankings lately making some service's top 15 QB lists.

 

3. Patrick Dosh (6-3, 205, 4.75, VA) - Set to shatter all state of VA career passing marks this year (but plays for a private school team so the competition not considered strong). UNC is his only major offer and the Tar Heels currently hold a slight lead over NCSU, VA and VAT. 

 

 

Tailback

With only 3 scholarship TBs on the roster, and none really setting the college football world on fire thus far, UNC could use a game breaker at TB.

 

Projected 2002 Depth Chart

1. Andre Williams (6-0, 215, Jr-3)

2a. Willie Parker (5-11, 200, Jr-4)

2b. Jacque Lewis (5-10, 190, So-2)

 

1. Thomas Clayton (6-0, 200, 4.32, VA) - SuperPrep top 10 national RB. Fits the Coach Powell (UNC's RB coach) ideal of a big, fast TB.  Last season, Thomas rushed for over 1800 yards with 19 touchdowns to his credit. As a track star, Tom has run a 10.4 100m and a 22.3 200m. He also has the 8th fastest time nationally in the 55m at 6.2 seconds. Clayton also has some famous football-playing relatives. He has one cousin that plays for the San Francisco 49er's (Julian Peterson) and another cousin that plays running back for the University of Maryland, former Carolina signee Jason Crawford. Tom visited Chapel Hill back in April of this year. The most important aspect in choosing a college for Tom is the prospect of early playing time. In a recent HS game, Clayton rushed for over 300 yards and 6 touchdowns on a mere 7 carries.  Tom's current favorites include UNC, PSU, ND, NW and MICHST. The two front runners in the early part of the recruiting season had been PSU and UNC, but ND has moved up since his official visit to South Bend. Set to make UNC his final official visit in mid-December.

 

 

Fullback

UNC did not add a fullback in 2001 and it is possible that Richard Moore may not return for a fifth year. Thus, a pure fullback could really help this year.

 

Projected 2002 Depth Chart

1. Madison Hedgecock (6-2, 247, So-3)

2. Richard Moore (6-2, 240, Sr-5)

3. James Faison (6-0, 225, Jr-4)

 

1.  Brandon Schweitzer (6-3, 230, 4.7, NC) - This Hendersonville product is a "jumbo athlete" who can play FB/TE/LB. He is a state championship wrestler and is a workhorse throwback in the mold of John Bunting, Madison Hedgecock and Will Chapman.  Last year, he caught over 30 passes for approximately 500 yards and 4 touchdowns. On defense, he made over 100 tackles. Current favorites include UNC, SC, NAVY and WF.  The only thing holding UNC back is that Brandon would like to be an engineer someday and UNC does not have a pure engineering major (though it does have engineering "related" majors). Visited UNC for FSU game and SC for AL game and lists SC ever so slightly over UNC (by all accounts seems to really love and respect Lou Holtz) - will visit again for UNC-DUKE game in November.

 

2. Brandon Snow (6-1, 220, 4.5, DE) - The nation's #1 FB and a top 25 national player overall. UNC offered him right off the bat but could never get reciprocal interest - until after the Tar Heels' 5 consecutive wins. Snow benches 300+, squats 400+, rushed for over 1,000 yards made 80 tackles and 9 sacks on defense and has more than 30 offers. Top six has been MIA, FSU, FL, VAT, VA and PSU, but UNC has an outside shot to make a push for an official visit.

 

 

Wide Receiver

UNC definitely has adequate depth and solid numbers at the WR spot heading into next year already, making WR seemingly one of the lesser needs this recruiting season. That being said, (a) UNC will graduate its top 3 WRs after ‘02 (Allen, Borders, Aiken) and jobs will be wide open for ‘03, and (b) this is a great year for WRs in UNC's primary recruiting territories so don't be surprised to see the Tar Heels "load up" on the position while the "getting is good." 

 

Projected 2002 Depth Chart

WR 1: 

1. Bosley Allen (6-2, 195, Sr-5)

2. Brandon Russell (5-11, 190, Jr-3)

3. Harry Lewis (6-3, 210, Fr-2)

4. Isaiah Robinson (6-0, 190, Jr-4)

 

WR 2:

1. Sam Aiken (6-2, 200, Sr-5)

2. Chesley Borders (6-0, 190, Sr-5)

3. Jarwarski Pollock (5-8, 175, So-2)

4. Danny Rumley (6-4, 225, Fr-2)

 

Verbal Commitment 1:

Ian Firestone (6-1, 190, 4.35, PA) - Last year, he had 43 receptions for 550 yards and 7 touchdowns. On kick returns he averaged 44 yards per return. Ian is ranked by SuperPrep as the #5 WR in the nation and among the top 50 players overall.  He committed to UNC after the Clemson game over more than one dozen offers including MIA, GAT, VA, BC, NW and PUR among others. Came to UNC unofficially in August, made his official visit for the VA game in October and will visit again unofficially on December 1st for the SMU game where he says he will "help recruit" prospective Tar Heels.

 

Verbal Commitment 2:

Derrele Mitchell (6-4, 200, 4.5, NC/VA Prep School) - Derrele signed with UNC in 2001 but is spending this fall at Hargrave Military Academy to shore up his academics.  Mitchell was selected last year as the NC Male Athlete of the Year after leading his basketball team (RJ Reynolds) to the state championship and accumulating 1,223 yards and 10 touchdowns on the gridiron as a senior.  He was ranked as a top 50 national wide receiver coming out of high school with more than a dozen offers including offers from all the NC schools, TN, VAT, CLEM, SC and GA.

 

1.  Ryan Moore (6-4, 200, 4.4, FL) - Listed by alliancesports.com as the #1 WR in the nation.  Over 900 yards receiving to his credit as a junior.  Ryan is insisting upon a basketball-football double in college and his four favorites are FL, LSU, MIA and UNC.   Moore visited UNC unofficially for the ECU game.  

 

2.  Ty Zimmerman (6-4, 200, 4.55, SC/FUMA) - Was listed as a top 100 national WR by some services coming out of HS. Committed to Clemson, failed to qualify, spending a year at FUMA and is now open between CLEM, SC and UNC (the three finalists for his services last year).  Still says he is "softly" committed to CLEM, but plans on taking an official visit to UNC.

 

3. North Carolina Sleeper (6-4, 210, 4.5) - A name I haven't seen on any "recruiting guru" list, but one that has attracted the attention of a lot of college scouts, including UNC, VA, SC and NCSU.  A Billy McMullen "clone" is the way I've heard him described.

 

4. Jejuan Rankins (5-9, 175, 4.4, NC) - This Bertie, NC product is attracting a lot of national attention. UNC was slow to recruit and get involved with Rankins, but after the September recruiting period opened up and UNC began to recruit more aggressively and after the FSU game, Rankins has begun to list UNC. Michigan leads pretty big though over TN, NCSU, UNC, PSU and many others. Rankins visited UNC unofficially for the ECU game. UNC is recruiting Rankins more aggressively but still has not offered at this time (and with the recent Ian Firestone verbal - Rankins and Firestone are the same type of WR - UNC may not end up offering).

 

5.  Andre Hemphill (6-1, 190, 4.5, NC) - Is a teammate of current Tar Heel pledge D. J. Walker at Brevard. Last year, he had 41 catches for 648 yards and 9 touchdowns on offense and registered 33 tackles and 5 interceptions on defense.  It was widely reported that UNC has offered (way back in the summer) - however, conflicting reports are coming up on that issue.

 

 

Tight End

Once considered a dire position of need, seems to be addressed with the following two early commitments (but see FB Schweitzer and listed DL prospects Moe Thompson and Aaron Kirkland for "jumbo athletes" that many have projected at TE in college).

 

2002 Projected Depth Chart

1a. Bobby Blizzard (6-7, 265, Jr-4)

1b. Zack Hilton (6-7, 265, Sr-5)

3. Brian Chacos (6-5, 260, Fr-2)

 

Transfer Commitment: Bobby Blizzard (6-7, 265, 4.7, VA) - National top 100 and top 3 TE in the nation coming out of HS. Originally signed with high octane offense of Hal Mumme at Kentucky coming out of HS where he made 30 catches as a true freshman and true sophomore. Decided to transfer to UNC this summer when Hal Mumme was fired.  Will be eligible in 2002 and 2003.

 

Commitment:  Lewis Burnham (6-5 ½, 240, 4.75, NJ) - The son of Len Burnham, who played DE on the Philadelphia Eagles with John Bunting in the 70s and who is currently Vice President of the NFL. Lewis plays OL in HS because he is one of the biggest kids on his team and is a great blocker. However, at 240, he doesn't project to OL at the next level (unless he puts on 40-50 pounds). Camped at UNC and worked with Coach Browning at the TE spot where he showed good speed, tremendous hands, good route running and a great overall grasp on the TE spot. Was offered as a TE on the spot (though he could also play DE) and committed to UNC over offers from KY, IA and RUT. 

 

 

Offensive Line

A decade long sore spot with UNC fans, of which Coach Bunting has made no secret of his desire to upgrade. Thus, look for UNC to go for around four more OLs this year (after grabbing 6, 3, and 6 over the past three).

 

2002 Projected Depth Chart

C:

1. Issac Morford (6-3, 285, Sr-5)

2. Marcus Wilson (6-3, 285, Jr-4)

3. Steven Bell (6-3, 265, Fr-2)

 

RG:

1. Jason Brown (6-3, 330, So-2)

2. Arthur Smith (6-4, 290, Fr-2)

 

LG:

1. Jupiter Wilson (6-4, 295, Jr-4)

2. Chase Page (6-5, 270, So-2)

 

RT:

1. Jeb Terry (6-6, 305, Jr-4)

2. Willie McNeill (6-4, 295, So-3)

 

LT:

1. Greg Woofter (6-5, 285, Jr-4)

2. Skip Seagraves (6-5, 285, So-3)

3. Drew Hunter (6-8, 285, Fr-2)

 

Commitment: Whit Efrid (6-4, 310, 5.1, NC) - Whit, who comes to UNC out of West Stanly High School in Oakboro, North Carolina. Whit is extremely strong, as evidenced by his 410 bench press and 525 squat. He averaged five pancake blocks as an offensive lineman last year and also performed the kicking duties for West Stanly. Whit is considered a consensus top 25 player in NC and is ranked as a top 60 national OLman. 

 

1. Marcus McNeil (6-7, 310, GA) - SuperPrep ranks McNeil as the nation's #1 OL prospect. Marcus currently lists UNC as a slight favorite over MIA and he grew up a Carolina fan when he lived in Fayetteville, NC. He has since moved to Georgia, but still has some family in the area. Visited NCSU for UNC-NCSU game and reportedly made his way to the UNC locker room after the game.

 

2. Derek Morris (6-6, 340, NC) - This Charlotte, NC product is considered one of the top 15 OLs in the nation. He unofficially visited Chapel Hill on July 21, 2001. He has taken/set up the following official visits; Ohio State October 5, Georgia November 9, Tennessee December 7, and the last two visits are expected to be to North Carolina State and North Carolina. Is being compared to Orlando Pace.  The Vols were once considered the team to beat, but after his OSU visit, Derek says he is wide open.  Has recently said that UNC has attracted his attention after its wins over FSU, NCSU, CLEM, VA and ECU.

 

3. Brandon Jefferies (6-5, 270, NC) - Brandon is ranked by alliancesports.com as the #2 G in the nation. He hails from Shelby, NC (Crest High School, same school as Chesley Borders). Brandon is quick for a young man his size (4.8 40) and strong (400 lb. Bench press). He will probably wait until late January or early February before deciding but TN has an early lead over SC, UNC, NCST and VAT.

 

4. Dustin Fry (6-3, 300, SC) - State wrestling champion and former HS teammate of current Tar Heel Chase Page. Dustin bench presses 400 lbs. and squats over 600 lbs. Currently favors Clemson slightly over South Carolina, Tennessee, Carolina and Virginia Tech. Visited UNC unofficially for the ECU game.

 

5. Brandon Greeson (6-4, 330, NC) - Yet another excellent OL prospect from NC, Brandon attended Carolina's summer football camp in June.  Brandon was primarily considering out-of -state schools recently (MICH, TN and NEB) but has since loosened this stance.

 

6. Leroy Harris (6-5, 285, 5.0, NC) - This Southeast Raleigh OL/DT prospect is currently committed to NCSU but says he may visit UNC and/or ECU officially this December. 50 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior.

 

7. Jonathan Benson (6-5, 280, NC) - West Montgomery student who was awarded the Morehead Scholar with a 4.4 GPA and a 1570 SAT. It is my belief that UNC would likely be recruiting him but for his Morehead candidacy - i.e., if he comes to UNC as a Morehead Scholar, could "walk on" the football team because UNC isn't recruiting him. UNC's main competition for Jonathan is coming from Harvard, Yale and Princeton, with schools like Stanford, Virginia and Wake Forest actively recruiting him for football and academically.

 

8. Joseph Stutts (6-0, 260, NC) - Center prospect from Wilson-Fike in the mold of current UNC starting C Adam Metts (6-0, 260). East Carolina and Marshall have offered Joseph a scholarship, but Joseph has said that he is UNC bound when and if they offer.  If they don't, the UNC coaching staff would like to see Joseph come aboard as a "recruited walkon" with the potential to earn a scholarship down the road like Will Chapman, David Thornton, Robert Harris, David Bomar, Ross McAllister, Jeff Reed, etc. in recent memory.

 

 

Defensive Tackle

Loss of Ryan Sims and Anthony Perkins and fact that UNC signed 0 DTs in 2001 who are currently on the roster make this a position of some need.

 

2002 Projected Depth Chart

NT:

1a. Donti Coates (6-3, 290, Jr-4)

1b. Issac Montgomery (6-4, 280, So-3)

1c. Jonas Seawright (6-6, 310, So-3)

 

Rush DT:

1. Will Chapman (6-4, 275, Jr-4)

2a. Eric Davis (6-3, 275, Sr-5)

2b. Carl Smalls (6-2, 275, So-3)

 

Transfer Commitment: Carl Smalls (6-2, 275, 4.9, SC) - Committed to SC out of HS after considering UNC, decided to transfer to UNC this past summer and will be eligible in 2002-2004. NC-SC Shrine Bowl MVP coming out of HS. Top 40 nationally ranked DT coming out of HS.  Chiseled frame, strong and fast for his size.

 

Commitment: Antavius Barrino (6-5, 260, 5.0, NC) - Signed with UNC out of Forest Hills in 2001, but a bout with mono in August put him out of action and he decided to wait till January 2002 to enroll thus giving him 5 years of eligibility beginning in 2002. 95 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 5 sacks as a senior. Top 40 nationally ranked DT.

 

1. Aaron Kirkland (6-5, 260, 4.8, NC) - Great "jumbo athlete" prospect from Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Aaron is considered as one of the top 100 players in the nation at the tight end position. Could project at TE/DE or DT (my personal belief) at the next level.  Carolina is primarily recruiting Aaron to play defensive end, the position he prefers to play, where Aaron recorded 80 tackles and 7 sacks as a junior. He caught 8 passes for 110 yards on offense.  His current favorites are UNC (camp), TN (camp), Clemson, and FSU. All of his favorites have offered. Had a great unofficial visit for the FSU game and UNC currently is dead even with TN - it looks like it could go either way.

 

 2. Moe Thompson (6-3, 260, 4.8, SC) - Similar to Aaron in size, ranking and possible positions he could play.  His mom has asked Moe to not consider schools beyond 4-6 hours from his home because she wants to come see him play regularly. Moe actually grew up in Durham and only moved to SC within the past five-seven years. UNC currently holds a slight lead over SC, and CLEM (all have offered as have AUB, GA and GAT).  Visited Clemson unofficially for the UNC-CLEM game. As with Kirkland, this one seems to go back and forth depending upon the day - this time between UNC and SC.

 

3. Marcus Jackson (6-4, 250, 4.7, GA) - A DE/DT type who could go either way depending on future "growth." Ranked among the top 30 national DLs. Likes the GA, SC, FL, AL and NC schools. Made an unofficial visit to UNC for the ECU game.

 

4. Chris Bradwell (6-5, 260, 4.8, GA) - Like Thompson and Kirkland, a TE/DE type in HS who I project on the inside at the next level. Currently lists FSU, FL, GA, GAT and UNC.

 

5. Jamil Smith (6-4, 280, 4.8, NC) - Western NC product that is starting to make some noise on the recruiting front with offers from DUKE, GAT and WF. Says he intends to visit UNC officially this winter.

 

 

Defensive End

With Julius Peppers and Joey Evans departing after 2001, and with only three apparent DE contributors on the roster (Dumas, Mooring and Banks) absent the shift of one or more current LBs down, DE is a spot where a newcomer is needed to step in and contribute right away.

 

2002 Projected Depth Chart

DE-1

1. Issac Mooring (6-3, 260, Jr-4)

2. Jeff Longhany (6-4, 250, Fr-2) (DE/LB)

3. Tommy Davis (6-2, 250, Fr-2) (DE/LB)

 

DE-2:

1a. Jacques Dumas (6-8, 260, So-2)

1b. Jermicus Banks (6-4, 260, So-3)

 

1. Gaines Adams (6-6, 230, 4.6, SC/FUMA) - Was set to sign with UNC in 2001, but needs to spend a year at prep school shoring up academics first. As a senior in high school, Gaines recorded 22 sacks on defense and caught over 1300 yards as a wide receiver.  In three games at FUMA this year, Gaines already has 15 tackles for loss at his OLB spot. CLEM, ILL, MICHST and others are trying to pry Adams away from the Heels.

 

2. Brandon Cannon (6-5, 240, 4.65, GA) - A teammate of another UNC recruit, CB Demario Minter. The two may be a package deal and each lists UNC. Cannon is generally ranked among the top 15 DEs in the nation and is considering UNC, GA, GAT, MD, TN and KY among others.

 

3. Jyles Tucker (6-4, 235, 4.55, NJ) - Last season he had 128 tackles and 22 sacks. UNC has offered Jyles a scholarship conditionally based on achievement of a satisfactory qualifying test score. UNC now leads over RUT, MICHST, WISC and others.

 

4. Steve Kelip (6-7, 225, 4.7, IL) - Huge frame with plenty of room for growth.  Made an unofficial visit to UNC this past summer and his current list of favorites includes BC, ILL, MICH, MICHST, ND and UNC. 

 

5.  Eric Terry (6-4, 230, 4.6, NC) -  A DE/DT prospect whom UNC has begun to recruit a lot more aggressively as of late.  Richmond County had long-been a UNC pipeline, but that pipeline has recently eroded (Randy Jones to VA last year) and could continue to erode with new coach Ed Emory (former ECU HC and CLEM, DUKE and WF assistant) heading up the fabled Raider program. ECU, NCSU, SC, CLEM and VA are also expressing interest.

 

6. Manny Lawton (6-6, 215, 4.5, NC) - A fabulous "athlete" from Eastern Wayne who is hard to place at any one position on a recruiting board. Plays WR and DE in HS, but could project at WR, TE, DE, or LB depending upon his future growth. Last year made 54 tackles, 7 sacks, 6 pass deflections, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception.

 

 

Linebacker

With all three LB starters departing after this year and less than adequate depth, LB is a huge need for 2002 and a position where someone could step in and play right away.

 

2002 Projected Depth Chart

1. Robert Harris (6-1, 228, Sr-4)

2.  Doug Justice (6-3, 228, Fr-2)

 

1. Devllen Bullard (6-1, 228, So-3)

2. Clarence Gaddy (6-3, 228, So-3)

 

1. Malcolm Stewart (6-3, 228, Sr-4)

2.  Kitwana Jones (5-11, 228, Jr-3)

3.  Clay Roberson (6-3, 228, Jr-4)

 

Commitment 1:

Melik Brown (6-2, 228, 4.55, NJ) - Committed to UNC over offers from more than a dozen schools including TN, GAT, WISC, MICHST, RUT and others. 58 tackles and 9 sacks as a junior. Could project at either OLB or DE, but likely to start out at OLB in college.

 

Commitment 2:

Victor Worsley (6-2, 228, 4.6, NC) - Victor's a big hitter that has caused over 15 fumbles the last two years. In his junior year, Victor recorded 120 tackles. Rates among the top 15 players in NC. Committed to UNC over offers from BC, CLEM, ECU and WF.

 

1. AJ Nicholson (6-2, 228, 4.6, NC) - AJ's father, Darrell, played for Carolina during the Crum era (also as a linebacker). AJ's favorite team growing up was Carolina and has stated that it has always been his dream to play for UNC. Committed to UNC very early this summer, but decided to he wanted to take some other visits.  Last season, for Winston-Salem, Mt. Tabor, he had 160 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. AJ is considered one of the top two prospects in NC and among the top 5 LBs in the nation. He currently lists UNC, MIA, ND, FL, FSU, TN, AUB, SC and TX as his favorites.

 

2. Omar Gaither (6-1, 208, 4.6, NC) - LB/SS prospect from Charlotte, NC. Claims offers from all of the state schools including UNC plus TN, FL, GA, VA, VAT, ND and CLEM. Has made all-conference each year since his freshman year. Set to visit UNC officially on 12/1, TN on 1/11 and FL on 1/19, however, says he wants to move up the January visits so he can make a decision within the next month or so and it appears that TN and UNC are the two leaders with TN holding a slight edge.

 

3. Bobby Carpenter (6-3, 235, 4.6, OH) - Top 15 national LB prospect whose father played for the New York Giants in the NFL. Lists OSU, MICHST, UNC, NW, ND and STAN as his top 6.

 

4. Berkley Hutchinson (6-3, 228, 4.5, NJ) - The nation's #1 LB prospect. Committed to Rutgers, but says he is still taking calls from North Carolina. Looks like a long shot at this stage.

 

5. Patrick Lowery (6-2, 228, 4.8, NC) - A superstar wrestler and an extremely aggressive and productive (160 tackles) high school player. Most schools appear to be recruiting, but not offering due to speed questions. DUKE, ECU and WF have offered and UNC, NCSU and VA are keeping close tabs on Patrick's progress.

 

 

Cornerback

UNC has only five CBs currently on the roster, and after Hood graduates, only four with two being seniors in 2002, making CB a spot where someone can step in and play right away.

 

2002 Projected Depth Chart:

CB -1:

1. Michael Waddell (5-11, 175, Sr-4)

2. Chris Hawkins (5-11, 175, So-2)

 

CB-2:

1. Kevin Knight (5-8, 175, Sr-4)

2. Derrick Johnson (5-8, 175, Jr-4)

 

Commitment: Cedric Holt (6-0, 180, 4.45, NC) - Last year, Cedric made 8 interceptions and scored 5 touchdowns for Anson County on his way to all-conference honors. Camped at UNC this summer and impressed UNC DB coach Jon Tenuta with his cover skills. Committed to UNC over CLEM, ECU (offer), NCSU and WF (offer).

 

1. AJ Davis (5-11, 175, 4.35, NC) - AJ is considered one of the top defensive backs in the country and one of the top two overall players in NC. Last year for Northern Durham, AJ made 26 tackles, 6 interceptions  (3 returned for TDs), 10 TDs as a receiver, and 2 punt return TDs. He is also the current state champion in the high jump, long jump and the triple jump. His cousin Donnie Davis was an outstanding high school quarterback in Burlington and went on to play in college at Georgia Tech. A. J. intends to run track in college and any school that will not allow him to participate in both sports will not be considered. Northern Durham has produced several outstanding players for the University of North Carolina including current players Andre Williams and Kory Bailey, former payers Sherrod and Jason Peace, and David Bomar. Additionally, current Carolina Assistant Coach Ken Browning was the Northern Durham Head Football coach for many years. AJ's list changes a lot, but the consistently mentioned favorites include UNC, ND, OKL, AL and NCSU.  Visited UNC for the FSU game and visited NCSU for the UNC-NCSU game but came to UNC's locker room post game.

 

2. Demario Minter (5-10, 175, 4.45, GA) - Was voted to the NIKE Camp all-American team as a result of his impressive showing at the Atlanta Nike Camp. He has liked UNC from the beginning (and since his childhood) and the Carolina coaching staff has now offered after watching film. Demario has also has offers from Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, and South Carolina.  Has set an official visit with UNC for January 18th.

 

3. Michael Gilmore (6-1, 170, 4.4, SC) - Ranked as the #12 CB in the nation by Alliance. Lists CLEM, GAT, SC and UNC as his favorites. Plays CB, TB and KR and PR (34/return) in HS.  Scheduled to visit UNC for the WF game.

 

4. Greg Threat (6-1, 170, 4.4, FL) - A top national CB prospect whom UNC offered way back in February but couldn't get reciprocal interest at that point in time. After its recent five game winning streak, UNC has now made the more recent lists of Threat who currently lists MIA slightly over ND, UNC and GAT.

 

5. Fred Bennett (6-2, 180, 4.45, SC) - Ranked as a top eight national DB prospect by SuperPrep, Fred plays wide receiver as well as corner in High School. He caught 30 passes his junior year for approximately 500 yards (3 for touchdowns). On defense, Fred registered 79 tackles and 7 interceptions. Fred currently favors CLEM over SC, UNC and GAT.  Visited CLEM for the CLEM-UNC game and despite UNC's 38-3 win, still favors CLEM citing familiarity and comfort with the coaches, school and players.

 

6. Fabian Washington (6-0, 190, 4.4, FL) - Fabian has offers from UNC, Alabama, Nebraska, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Iowa, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and Auburn. Carolina will be working hard to get a visit from this talented player.

 

 

Safety

With the graduation of Billy Dee Greenwood and the pre-mature departures of Jovon Lewis and Marcus Jones this summer, S is a spot that could use another player or two.

 

2002 Projected Depth Chart

FS:

1. Dexter Reid (6-0, 190, Jr-4)

2. Bryant Macklin (6-0, 205, So-3)

3. Tarrence Highsmith (6-1, 190, Fr-2)

 

SS:

1a. Chris Curry (6-0, 190, So-2)

1b. Defonté Coleman (6-1, 220, Sr-5)

3. Ronnie Bryant (6-0, 205, Fr-2)

 

Verbal Commitment: D. J. Walker (6-1, 170, 4.41, NC) - Last year (Walker's first on varsity) D. J. rushed for 1.946 yards on 255 carries (7.6 ypc average), scored 23 touchdowns, and had approximately 2250 yards of total offense. On defense, D. J. recorded 45 tackles and three interceptions. Walker had the third fastest time in the State 2-A track meet for the 100 and 300-meter hurdles. Walker earned all-area and all-conference honors. DJ is a consensus top 20 player in NC.

 

1.  Nate Salley (6-4, 200, 4.4, Miami, FL) - One of the nation's top 10 Safety prospects and also a star HS basketball players. Currently lists MIA slightly over UNC and many others.

 

2.  Tommy Richardson (6-2, 208, 4.55, Miami, FL) - Lists UNC among his top 5 currently. Has offers from MIA, FL, VAT, ND, MD, OSU and BC.

 

3.  Duante Fields (6-1, 170, 4.5, Miami, FL) - WR/FS prospect. 50 tackles and 6 interceptions on defense and 30-500-8 as a WR. Currently claims offers from VAT, BC, UNC, IAST and VANDY.

 

4.  Donte Newsome (6-0, 208, 4.55, VA) - Deep Creek prospect that currently lists UNC among his top five along with VA, VAT, MD and WF.

 

5. Maurice Hart (6-1, 208, 4.45, NC) - Another former Northern Durham product, Maurice currently plays for College of the Canyons Junior College in California. Maurice has a reputation as a big hitter. He has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oregon and Oregon State. Carolina has offered him conditionally provided he meets his academic requirements.  Don't count on this one as UNC admissions is particularly hard on JUCO transfers - see "placed" JUCOs Cory Alexander and Kareem Marshall, each of whom couldn't get admitted to UNC even though each had more than a half-dozen offers from other D-1A schools.

 

 

Kicker/Punter

Blake Ferguson's premature departure and Jeff Reed's graduation make K/P a position of need.

 

1. Justin Medlock (6-0, 180, CA) - Justin was offered a scholarship after attending Carolina's summer camp. Justin is a life-long Carolina fan and UNC is considered one of his top two schools - along with an unnamed CA school.

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