2009 Intro: Hillside Trio

DURHAM, N.C. --- Desmond Scott isn't the only Durham Hillside player that Division I-A colleges have expressed interest in. According to head football coach Ray Harrison, Hillside boasts as many as three other Division I-A prospects – Corey Gattis, Larry Jones, and Nick Stone.

After spending his sophomore season backing up Tulsa signee Michael Johnson, Gattis emerged as Hillside's starting quarterback last fall completing 159-of-250 passes (64-percent) for 3,003 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Gattis, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder, pairs with Scott to form one of the fastest, game breaking backfields in the NCHSAA.

"He has a strong arm and we're going to use his feet a little more – he's very fast," Harrison said. "He's probably the fastest guy on the team – between him and Desmond … when I put them together, we got two guys that run a 4.4."

Molding his offense to the strengths of his players, Harrison will switch to a spread option offense in the West Virginia mold.

"We're still going to throw the ball a bit, because Corey is a heck of a quarterback as far as arm strength and accuracy," Harrison said. "But I think we can use a combination [of run and pass], so the defense won't know what we are doing. We can run it for 80 yards or we can throw it for 80 yards."

On the college level, Gattis, like most athletic-type quarterbacks in the high school ranks, will more than likely convert to another position. Harrison can see Gattis fitting in nicely at two positions.

"He could be a great slot receiver. He knows the offense, knows how to run routes, he can go get [the ball] with a 37-inch vertical, he has good hands.

"Some people say DB. DB is a valuable asset for a lot of teams now – it's hard to find. He's athletic enough to do both [positions]."

Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Maryland, North Carolina, and Wake Forest have expressed significant interest in Gattis.

"No offers yet," Gattis said. "A lot of coaches want to see me at their camp first. They want to see [what position] I fit best at."

Gattis is considering camping at Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, UNC, and Wake Forest this summer.

Stone will also likely move to another position on the next level.

Nick Stone
Junior Season Highlights:

"It depends on how much he grows," Harrison said. "If he gets faster, I think he could be an inside ‘backer type kid. But you know, I think, he's going to put on more weight and be a D-lineman playing around 275 pounds."

Stone, a 6-foot-3, 245-pounder, is hearing from Clemson, Duke, UNC, NC State, Tennessee, and Wake Forest. Most schools – including UNC – are recruiting him as a defensive tackle.

"They say my size, strength, and ability to fill holes [is why I'm projected at defensive tackle]," Stone said.

This fall, Stone will be a third-year starter at defensive end for Hillside.

"He's one of those hybrid players," Harrison said. "I look at [Vernon Gholston]. We can put Nick's hand on the ground. He's very strong, knows the game of football, and he plays well in traffic as far as using his hands… I think we can use his athletic ability to drop into zone coverage.

"This year we'll run more of a New England 3-4 and Nick will be like a Mike Vrabel guy – he can drop in zone coverage, he could put his hand on the ground, he could be in a two-point stance coming off the edge."

Stone says NC State and Wake Forest are recruiting him the hardest and he talks to his primary recruiter at both schools regularly.

As a sophomore, Jones was in the rotation at wide receiver catching passes from Johnson. He was moved to safety following the season.

"I've been looking for a safety for a few years now that could cover and come up in run support," Harrison said. "Larry fits that role. I felt that he had that mean streak in him to play defense."

Larry Jones
Junior Season Highlights:

In addition to filling the job requirements, Jones, a 6-foot, 185-pounder, turned into a "head hunter," making unknowing receivers pay for coming across the middle. He ended the season with 81 tackles and five interceptions.

"It was an experience for me," Jones said. "It was my first year playing safety, so I didn't know anything about it – I just did what I knew how to do. My confidence built up throughout the season."

With a year of on-the-job training under his belt, the sky is the limit for Jones this coming season.

"I think he understands the position a lot more now," Harrison said. "He knows the keys, knows the reads now."

Jones is being pursued mostly by in-state schools – East Carolina, UNC, NC State and Wake Forest. After attending junior day in Winston-Salem, the Demon Deacon coaching staff requested he return for camp.




* Corey Gattis Profile
* Nick Stone Profile
* Larry Jones Profile

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