Midseason Update: Todd Harrelson

A dominating defense led by North Carolina pledge Todd Harrelson has Chesapeake (Va.) Smith steamrolling the competition.

"So far, we've been doing well – especially on the defensive side of the ball," Harrelson said. "The defensive side of the ball improved the most this year. And [the defense] has pretty much set the tone for the offense."

Smith has shut out three of its five opponents and has limited opponents to an average of 3.2 points. Included in the list of blanked teams is Chesapeake Great Bridge, which is led by Division I-A quarterback prospect Casey Turner.

Harrelson, a 6-foot, 180-pounder, serves as Smith's cover cornerback, who virtually blankets his side of the field defensively.

"Most of the time, quarterbacks don't like throwing to my side," Harrelson said. "When they do, that's when it gets picked off."

Thus far this season, Harrelson has intercepted three passes.

Offensively, Harrelson is among several receiving targets in Smith's high-powered spread offense attack. He has caught 19 passes for over 300 and four touchdowns.

Harrelson has added two scores on punt returns, and has even thrown a touchdown pass on a trick play.

Smith will travel cross-city Friday for a contest with another undefeated team – Western Branch.

"Supposedly [we have a test Friday]," Harrelson said. "They're a good team, but I know how good of a team we are. And if we're moving on full cylinders, no one in the state can mess with us."

Last season, Smith lost in the State Championship game to Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem. Harrelson expects to end his high school career with a state title.

"All we have to do is just focus and take every game one at a time," Harrelson said. "If we play as a team, it will be easy rolling from here on out."

Harrelson, who is still firmly committed to UNC, will travel to Chapel Hill following the Western Branch game to attend his first college game of the season --- UNC versus Miami. He will then return the following weekend for the UNC-South Carolina game.

Harrelson has caught most of UNC's televised games.

"Each week when I watch them I can see improvement," Harrelson said. "They play hard. They're still a young team."

In particular, Harrelson pays close attention to UNC's wide receivers, which is arguably the strongest unit on the team.

"I can't wait to be part of that group," Harrelson said. "I'd say [with them being so talented] would make me play better. I'm a competitive person. I think I can make my spot on the team."

Kenny Browning, his primary recruiter, and Charlie Williams, UNC's receivers coach, are in constant contact with Harrelson.

"They call every week to see how I did in each of my games and to tell me how they did," Harrelson said.

Browning also informed Harrelson that they'll schedule his official visit to UNC after November.

Todd Harrelson Profile

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