Friday, October 23, 2009

Handicapping the rest of our Top 50 recruits

The total of uncommitted players on The Observer's Carolinas Top 50 prospects list is shrinking fast. Our North Carolina Top 25 has seven players who have yet to make their choices, as has our South Carolina Top 25.

Which means only 14 of the players we consider the best in the Carolinas have not made their decisions, with the Feb. 3 National Signing Day still so far in the distance.

The committed could change their minds, of course, but most will wind up at the program they've picked. And that means getting them to commit in the first place is hugely important.

So who are the top remaining uncommitted players in the Carolinas, and which schools have the best chances of landing them? A strong point to consider is that when a Carolinas school is a finalist for an in-state player, that program usually has an edge because of proximity.

Of course, a program like Alabama's has the tradition to roll (Tide) over all that – see Alfy Hill, who picked 'Bama over North Carolina.

Our top 10 list of still-availables follows. We also give you the primary schools in the hunt in alphabetical order, and the likely winners of their services. Keep in mind, though, that we're just making semi-educated guesses.

MARCUS LATTIMORE, Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, RB: Possibly the best running back in the country. Considering: Auburn, North Carolina, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina. He'll choose: South Carolina. The home state tug will be the deciding factor.

KEENAN ALLEN, Northern Guilford, S/WR: The smoothest athlete in N.C., Allen could play anywhere. Considering:Alabama, Clemson, Oregon. He'll choose: Clemson – although Alabama also has a shot. Oregon is too far away for family and friends.

JOHN FULTON, Manning (S.C.), CB: Expect him to be a shutdown corner wherever he winds up. Considering: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, Virginia Tech. He'll choose: South Carolina – in a tight squeeze over Alabama.

ETHAN FARMER, Tabor City S. Columbus, TE/DT: A likely defensive tackle in college, with excellent quickness. Considering: Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State, Penn St. He'll choose: North Carolina – in a close one over Clemson.

MUSTAFA GREENE, Irmo (S.C.), RB: The Carolinas' second-best running back, sorting through his suitors. Considering: Clemson, N.C. State, South Carolina, Rutgers, Tennessee, West Virginia. He'll choose: Rutgers. Sometimes they just want to see the world.

JUSTIN PARKER, Beaufort (S.C.), MLB: A tackling machine with great sideline to sideline speed and 17 offers. Considering: Clemson, Nebraska, N.C. State, South Carolina, Wake Forest, others. He'll choose: Clemson – his leader all along. Unless the Gamecocks' late push pulls him to Columbia.

DAVID AMERSON, Greensboro Dudley, S: Smooth and polished, with a nose for the ball. Considering: Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame. He'll choose: Notre Dame – over the Wolfpack; his visit to South Bend blew him away.

KAREEM MARTIN, Roanoke Rapids, DE: Good speed and quickness for his 6-foot-6, 229-pound size. Considering: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia Tech. He'll choose: North Carolina. They are all close right now, so expect his state university to win this one.

P.J. CLYBURN, West Iredell, S/WR: A tremendous return man who will likely handle that job and play safety at the next level. Considering: Arkansas, East Carolina, Kentucky, Illinois, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina. He'll choose: East Carolina. The Pirates steal a good one in-state.

NICK JONES, Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, WR/KR: Good 4.4-second speed and shiftiness; a slot receiver or return man in college. Considering: Auburn, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina. He'll choose: Auburn. The Tigers play the same style of spread offense as Byrnes, and he will be a good fit.

-- Stan Olson


Sheaffer said...

Hey Stan- Quick question for you. When is the last time you have been to an ECU game or really followed the Pirates? How does the 3rd Largest Univ. in the state that won a Conference Championship exactly "steal" recruits?

Please tell....

Anonymous said...

Simple. Although ECU is a strong program, most Carolinas kids prefer to play for an ACC school as opposed to a Conference USA school. That's point one. Point two is that most prospects look at UNC and NCSU first when it comes to state universities. So if the Pirates get one of the state's top players, it's something of a steal.

Reid said...

Sheaffer, are you an idiot? Yes, East Carolina is the 3rd largest school in the state of North Carolina. But it's in Conference-USA which is not nearly the conference that the BCS-Automatic qualifying ACC is. So as far as recruiting is concerned the boys from Greenville are inarguably 5th on the totem pole behind the Tar Heels, State, Wake, and Duke.

Anonymous said...

Nick Jones is a USC lock. He and Lattimore will end up at USC.

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Anonymous said...

Handicapping is right. Bradford at Oklahoma and Ponder at Florida State, both Heisman candidates, were 3 star recruits out of high school, and Wilson at NC State was a lowly 2 star. Just hope your coaches have a better eye for talent than some of the rating services. It ain't easy, thats why we pay the coaches so much.