2010 Intro: Tony Creecy

DURHAM, N.C. --- Since stepping foot on Southern High's campus, Tony Creecy has been the definition of a utility player for the Spartans.

"Tony is what we call our ‘Mr. Everything,'" Southern head coach Adrian Jones said. "You can count on him. You can put him in the backfield. He's a big guy – he's over 200 pounds. He can run. He's smart. [He has] great hands as a receiver."

Creecy starts and typically sets up in the slot of Southern's three-wide receiver offense. During the course of a game, however, in addition to running routes, the 5-foot-11, 193-pounder motions into the backfield and takes handoffs, runs reverses, catches screen passes, etc.

This coming season, though, Creecy will have to be more than "Mr. Everything." For the past three years, he has had the luxury of playing in a receiving corps that also included Reese Wiggins, a Shrine Bowl selection, and Nick Jones, an underrated but big target. Both will graduate this May.

Junior Highlights:

"Tony is going to be a little bit everywhere, but not too much is going to change," Jones said. "We got some younger guys that didn't play much this year that are going to fill in that void of Nick and Reese.

"I'd love to have those guys here, but Tony, [who] is going to wear a lot of stuff on his shoulders this year, I think can handle it."

When Creecy first arrived at Southern he was positioned at receiver, despite playing running back throughout his middle school career.

"[Jeff Parker, who was Southern's head coach at the time,] saw I had hands and I could run pretty good routes," Creecy said.

Not only did Creecy play receiver as a freshman, he started and earned All-PAC 6 Conference Honorable Mention. He ended the season with 24 catches for 495 yards and four touchdowns.

Creecy followed his impressive freshman campaign with back-to-back First Team All-PAC 6 Conference selections. He caught 46 passes for 619 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. And then as a junior, grabbed 48 passes for 863 yards and five touchdowns, plus rushed for three scores.

Due to his versatility, college coaching staffs aren't sure where Creecy best projects on the collegiate level. Most schools – notably Duke, UNC, and NC State – have offered the notion of Creecy being a Reggie Bush or Brian Westbrook type of tailback.

"They want me to play both – receiver and running back," Creecy said. "If we're in I-formation and want to go to a spread set, they will keep me in because they know I can go to receiver without losing anything."

Jones believes, eventually, Creecy will grow into a running back.

"Basically, a lot of coaches have been asking me what do I think," Jones said. "Right now, he could probably play both. But at college [and] working in their weight programs, Tony is probably going to end up being 220-225-pound guy. Being that build, I think he'll fit better playing tailback in college."

When he camped at UNC last summer, Creecy started out with the receivers group, but was moved to the running back group and stayed with that unit for much of the camp.

"They already knew I could play receiver, so [running backs coach Ken Browning] wanted me to come [to] see if I have feet to play running back," Creecy said.

Similar situations played out when Creecy also attended camps at Clemson, Duke, and NC State.

Creecy, who plans to return to the in-state schools' camps this summer, received scholarship offers on each of his camping stops. Florida State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Virginia, and Virginia Tech eventually followed suit and extended scholarship offers of their own.

Despite a solid list of options, Creecy is only considering in-state schools.

"I don't want to leave the state," Creecy said. "I got everything here. It's so fun in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh. I'd rather just stay here."

Creecy isn't sure when he'll make a verbal commitment, but has identified the two most important factors – education and coaching staff.

"I'm looking for a good education," Creecy said. "If I don't make it to the [National Football] League, I want to have a good education to fall back on.

"And then [I'm looking at] the coaching staff. I want to see if the coaching staff has a lot of wins, what's their backgrounds."

Despite growing up a UNC fan within a family of UNC fans, Creecy is leaning towards archrival NC State.

"As I started being recruited, NC State kind of stepped in front of UNC," Creecy said. "Duke isn't too far behind them.

"Right now, NC State, I'm leaning real hard on them, because of their coaching staff and the players they have returning. I believe if I go there, they could really help me.

"It's going to be a hard decision, though."

Tony Creecy Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories