2008 Intro: Kendall Bratcher

MCLEANSVILLE, N.C. – During his 14-year tenure as head football coach of McLeansville (N.C.) Northeast Guilford, Tommy Pursley has had eight all-conference quarterbacks. However, this year's starter, Kendall Bratcher, just might be the best.

"We always have good quarterbacks, because we put our best athlete there. But [Bratcher] is the best we've ever had," said Pursley. "He's an excellent athlete.

"He's so good we also start him at free safety. A lot of people don't start their quarterback both ways, but he's just too good to keep off the field. He also runs back punts for us."

Bratcher, a 5-foot-8 175-pounder, has piloted Northeast's flexbone, triple-option offense since his sophomore season earning all-conference recognition twice.

After dropping their 2006 season opener, Northeast went on a five-game winning streak. However, a shoulder injury put Bratcher on the mend and derailed the Rams, who lost all three games Bratcher missed. When Bratcher retuned under center, Northeast restarted their winning ways until being eliminated from the playoffs by Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley.

"I was team MVP," said Bratcher. "It was a pretty good year, but probably could have been better if not for the injury."

Despite missing three games, Bratcher eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second consecutive season. He also passed for 400 yards and collected 19 all-purpose touchdowns, which includes a punt return.

Defensively, Bratcher recorded 50 tackles and an interception.

"Coach always says big players make big plays, so I'm always there making sure I can do anything for the team if they need me somewhere," said Bratcher.

At the collegiate level, Bratcher could play multiple positions.

"I think people that are recruiting him are recruiting him as an athlete, but probably primarily defensive back – probably corner," said Pursley. "I think everybody is recruiting him knowing he could play defensive back, he could play receiver, he could play tailback. And then, he can return punts and kicks."

However, when Bratcher attended Wake Forest's Junior Day, the Demon Deacons' coaching staff had him grouped with the running backs.

While no scholarship offers have been extended, Bratcher is hearing the most from schools in the ACC as well as Colorado, LSU, Marshall, and Stanford.

With so much up in the air, Bratcher doesn't want to name a solid list of favorites, but three in-state schools currently standout.

"I don't really have any favorites, but [North] Carolina, last year I went to one of their games so Carolina is up there; Wake Forest, I've been a long time fan, so [I like] Wake Forest; and [I like] N.C. State," said Bratcher.

In addition to attending UNC's contest against South Florida, Bratcher attended the Tar Heels' one-day camp last summer. He plans on returning to UNC's camp this summer as well as camping at two other schools.

"I really love the atmosphere [at UNC]," said Bratcher. "The facilities are real nice – weight room. They've been building a lot down there, can't wait to see how it looks when it's all down."

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