Tar Heel State to Have Top OT in ‘06

From 2002-2004 North Carolina has produced at least one highly regarded lineman: five-stars Brandon Jefferies and Derek Morris in the class of 2002, four-star Isaiah Thomas in 2003, and five-star DeMario Pressley in 2004. For the class of 2005, the Tar Heel State took a break from offering a lineman that every coaching staff in the nation coveted.

North Carolina will make up for it in the class of 2006, as Southern (N.C.) Durham offensive tackle Carl Johnson figures to not only be a Scout.com five-star prospect, but also one of the top tackles in the nation.

"Everybody in the ACC and Southeastern Conference has offered," said Johnson.

Despite being just a junior, Johnson has been quite the traveler making as many unofficial visits as any senior. However, the 6-foot-6, 325-pounder isn't approaching these visits as a recruit, but as a fan.

"I do like any other high school player," explained Johnson. "I go to mostly local games like N.C. State. I went to Tennessee. I went everywhere in North Carolina just chilling with my boys Brandon [Woods] and Maurice [Covington]. Right now I'm just a junior so I have another whole year to decide where I want to go."

With being very close to both Virginia commits Woods and Covington, one might think the Cavaliers have an inside edge. Johnson claims it will help UVA, but he maintains his openness.

"Of course it's going to help [Virginia]," stated Johnson. "Because if we stay together, like if all of us went to Duke, you never know Duke could be a turn around 10-2 team. If you play with your teammates of course that will change your mindset."

Right now recruiting is the furthest thing from Johnson's mind. At this point with Southern deep in North Carolina's 3A playoff bracket, he is focused on bringing a state title to Durham. With the help of four division I-A seniors, that just might happen.

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