Friday, May 15, 2009

Observer Position Review: Carolinas' DLs

Each day this week, The Observer will rank the top five prospects in the Carolinas by position as we track their recruiting. Today we present the best members of the most talented group in the area—the defensive linemen. These guys are all members of their state’s Observer Top 25 prospects list, and deservedly so. If you have a question or can think of a player we’ve missed, email me at


1. GABE KING, high school undecided: At the recent combine in Charlotte, King was virtually unblockable in one-on-one drills, getting to the dummy QB every time with power and a number of finely-honed moves. And at 6-foot-4 and 251 pounds, he also ran a 4.7 40-yard dash. Wherever he plays in the fall, the recruiters will be watching. He has offers from California, North Carolina (his early favorites), Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, N.C. State and West Virginia, among others.

2. BRANDON WILLIS, Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes: While he has played DE in high school, Byrnes, who is 6-4 and 255 pounds, has a big body and should grow into a DT at the next level. College coaches salivated a year ago as he collected 144 tackles and 13 sacks; included in his dozens of offers are Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, LSU, Florida State, Georgia and Southern Cal.

3. ALFY HILL, West Brunswick: Hill, a 6-4, 222-pound DE, has been climbing everyone’s list, and was brilliant at the late-April N.C. Shrine Bowl Combine, where he turned in a sizzling 4.52 40. After a junior year that included 102 tackles and 12 sacks, he’s sifting through more than 20 offers. The early favorites are N.C. State and North Carolina, while other offers include Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

4. FRE’SHAD HUNTER, Cary: Something of a sleeper last year, when he totaled only 38 tackles and six sacks as opponents ran the other way. Strong combines, though, have gotten him noticed. Hunter, a 6-4, 245-pound DE, recently added a Michigan offer to a collection that includes leader N.C. State, East Carolina, Florida State, LSU, Purdue, South Carolina and Tennessee.

5. KELCY QUARLES, Greenwood: Remarkably fast for his 6-4, 250-pound size, Quarles has been clocked at 4.7 in the 40. Late in a junior year that saw him collect 75 tackles and 17 sacks, he committed to South Carolina, and that commitment wavered at one time but has firmed up again despite considerable pressure from a number of national powers. Expect Quarles to contribute immediately in Columbia.

TOMORROW: Linebackers

--Stan Olson


Dave D said...

Chris Smith of West Rowan was a member of the All-State team last year and will be a senior this coming year. At 6' 4" and 235 lbs, be was a speed rusher with great power.

Stan Olson said...

Dave, Chris is indeed a bigtime prospect. He almost made this list, but DE is loaded this year...