2011 Intro: Nigel King

RALEIGH, N.C. --- Nigel King found his niche during his sophomore season and quickly became Wakefield's top offensive weapon.

"Nigel – even with seniors [at receiver] on that team – emerged as the top guy," Wakefield wide receivers coach Charles Johnson said. "He just started taking little things and making plays. We thought, ‘This kid is really special.'"

That season, King, who is now 6-foot-2 and 199 pounds, registered 853 yards and 15 touchdowns in receptions.

When head coach Jason Dinwiddie retook over Wakefield's football program in 2008, he changed the offense from a pro-I to a four-wide receiver, pass-heavy spread.

"I had six receivers that I felt really, really comfortable with," Johnson said. "The stuff we were working on all summer [made me think] ‘You know what, our strength is our receivers.' So why not do something [with them] and give us the best opportunity to win."

King's numbers dropped to 521 yards and eight touchdowns during his junior season as opponents began keying on him.

"With his size and speed and aggressiveness to get the ball, he's one those guys that you really have to put two people on," Johnson said. "Single coverage is not taking him out of the game. I look at him as a go-to receiver. He's a deep threat and game-breaker. He can take a five-yard play to the house."

Wakefield plans to tweak the offense some this coming season, but King will remain the focus.

"Nigel is the type of receiver you build the offense around," Johnson said. "If you're not getting the ball to a player like Nigel, then the system, the coaches, and the quarterback are doing a disservice. He's actually a guy that will change the game."

Johnson played wide receiver in the NFL for eight seasons after being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 1994 draft. His accomplishments include 354 receptions for 4,606 yards and 24 touchdowns, plus a Super Bowl ring as part of the 2001 New England Patriots.

"A lot of times I look at [King] – and he's only a junior – and I can see him as if he's in college right now," Johnson said. "I think he's college-ready. The attention to detail, the little stuff that he knows how to do he could actually compete with college players right now."

Thus, it's unsurprising that ten schools have offered King a scholarship, including Colorado, East Carolina, LSU, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Last December, King came close to announcing a verbal commitment to LSU at a press conference. Just hours before that press conference, he had a change of heart. Now, that situation is all but a distant memory to King.

"Coach [D.J.] McCarthy left and Coach [Billy] Gonzalez is there now and I really don't know him as a LSU coach," King said. "… It's just different. I just don't feel the same as I did towards LSU.

"I would like to [visit LSU], but I'm not going to push it because maybe that wasn't best for me."

LSU is now not even listed among King's favorite schools.

"I like Carolina, right now, Maryland, I have interest in Oregon and Georgia but I don't have offers from them," King said. "… Oregon and Georgia [I like because of] the offense they run. UNC – I've been there – [I like] the atmosphere of the games, the players are just a big family, and I have a good relationship with the coaches there. With Maryland, I talk to the coaches there on the phone all the time, they seem really interested in me so I want to check out their school and see if I have interest."

King plans to visit Maryland very soon and could camp there this summer. He also plans to camp at UNC.

King has visited UNC more than any other school. He has attended three home football games (Duke, Florida State, and Miami) and a junior day in February. He also visited LSU last November and South Carolina a week ago.

By the end of the summer, King said he plans on making a verbal commitment. He will graduate in December and enroll at the school he chooses in January.

Nigel King Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories