Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ECU, Illinois, Wolfpack and Tar Heels vie for Clyburn, but...

West Iredell High’s P.J. Clyburn is a remarkable athlete, capable of playing safety, wide receiver and possibly even linebacker.

“At North Carolina’s camp last week, they worked me out at linebacker, that was my first time there,” Clyburn said this afternoon. “The coach running the drill said 'I'll take you right now.'”

Clyburn already has seven offers—from Arkansas, East Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, N.C. A&T, N.C. State and Western Carolina. But…

“My coach says I would have 25 if my grades were better,” he admitted.

While he’s on track to graduate, he said, there is room for improvement. And some schools that like him a lot—like North Carolina—are holding back that offer as they wait for it.

Clyburn understands, and plans to improve in that area as a senior.

He says he currently has four favorites—Illinois, N.C. State, UNC and East Carolina. He’s visited the first three, and plans to take an eventual trip to ECU.

Clyburn is 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, and says schools are split on whether to play him at WR or DB. A few more pounds, and he might be an OLB.

As a junior, Clyburn played all over the place, earning all-state honors for special teams. He totaled 78 tackles and five interceptions—two of which he returned for TDs. Offensively, he grabbed 33 passes for 468 yards and three scores. He also rushed 19 times for 166 yards and another touchdown.

Now he’s enjoying the fruits of those labors.

“I’ve got no timeframe on my decision,” he said. “I’m just waiting; I like the recruiting process a lot. It’s fun.”

--Stan Olson

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