Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hillside's Lee picks Georgia Tech

Durham Hillside senior Vad Lee will take his dual-threat quarterback skills to Georgia Tech with plans of putting them to use in the triple-option offense coached by Paul Johnson that helped the Yellow Jackets win the 2009 ACC title.

Lee passed for 1,416 yards and rushed for 675 more last season.

"The offense fits him good," said Hillside coach Antonio King. "He has a great relationship with the coaches. He enjoyed himself every time he went down there."

King said Lee saw Georgia Tech as the best fit for him as a person, too, in preparing him for life after football. King said Wake Forest and N.C. State also were close competitors for Lee before Georgia Tech earned his commitment.

Lee is 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds and is rated as the No. 26 prospect in North Carolina by

Ken Tysiac

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

UNC lands Simmons as preferred walk-on

Cetera DeGraffenreid's experience as a women's basketball player at North Carolina helped the Tar Heels's men's team land Smoky Mountain High Class of 2011 power forward Jackson Simmons as a preferred walk-on.

Cindi Simmons, Jackson's mother, coached DeGraffenreid at Smoky Mountain.

"We know what Carolina has meant to the DeGraffenreids, and we followed that very closely," said Si Simmons, Jackson's father. "Cetera allowed us to be a part of her recruiting at Carolina and Jackson has grown up seeing that and being a part of that, and choosing Carolina has been sort of a natural choice."

Simmons is 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds and averaged 19.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game as a junior on a team that went 24-5 and reached the state semifinals. His father and his high school coach, Jimmy Cleaveland, said Simmons committed as a walk-on with the understanding that he could earn scholarship help eventually with time, effort and performance.

"He's a post player for us, but he has worked very hard on his perimeter game," Cleaveland said. "He has a nice shot and he is getting a whole lot better. He has always been a very solid player and his work ethic is tremendous."

Si Simmons said Charlotte, Davidson, Old Dominon, Western Carolina, Appalachian State and Southern Illinois were among the many schools that offered scholarships to Jackson.

"We're so excited about Carolina and appreciate the other opportunities," Simmons said. "I don't want to slight that at all. But when Carolina became a reality, that became a pretty clear choice for him."

Ken Tysiac and Tim Stevens

Monday, August 16, 2010

Salisbury's Morris commits to UNC

Romar Morris, one of the top high school football prospects in the state and one of the fastest, committed to the University of North Carolina on Monday.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior ran for 1,330 yards and scored 17 touchdowns in 2009 at Salisbury High.

He has run 40 yards in 4.32 seconds and set NCHSAA 2-A records in the 100 (10.54) and the 200 (21.47) during the 2-A championship meet in the spring. He led Salisbury to the track title.

Morris and Salisbury senior safety Darian Rankin, who had already committed to UNC, helped the Hornets to a 10-5 record in 2009 and to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-AA Western Regional championship game.

Morris is the ninth player on the top 30 seniors list in North Carolina to pick the Tar Heels this year. ranks Morris as the 10th-best all-purpose back in the country and the 18th-best prospect in North Carolina.

Salisbury assistant principal Christopher Wayne McNeil confirmed that Morris had made his commitment. Morris earlier had said he had narrowed his choice to UNC or Georgia Tech

Friday, August 13, 2010

North Lenoir athlete commits to N.C. State

North Lenoir High coach Calvin Sutton raves about the athletic ability of Maurice Morgan, who committed to N.C. State earlier this week.

Morgan plays multiple positions, including running back and wide receiver, for the North Lenoir team in LaGrange, N.C. He also is a standout in basketball and football.

"His athletic ability seems to be far beyond the masses, so to speak," Sutton said. ". . .His ability is probably not matched by many across the state."

Morgan is 6-foot-2 and 214 pounds, and although he has played mostly offense in high school, Sutton said safety might be the best fit for him in college. He also had a scholarship offer from East Carolina and had been recruited by North Carolina without receiving an offer, according to Sutton.

Ken Tysiac

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jurkin commits to Indiana

Peter Jurkin, a 7-foot center with United Faith Christian in Charlotte, has committed to Indiana.

"He felt comfortable with them," United Faith coach Shaun Wiseman said this morning. "They've been recruiting him for a while."

Jurkin will be a high school junior in the fall.

Ken Tysiac

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

California WR chooses Duke

Blair Holliday, a wide receiver from the storied Oaks Christian School program in California whose alumni include rookie Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen, has committed to Duke.

Holliday is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds and caught about 48 passes last season for approximately 1,000 yards.

"He's got really good speed, in the 4.5 area," said Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell. "He's a good student, and he's good good range and runs good routes. I think Duke's got a really great player."

Redell said Holliday's scholarship offers included Colorado State, Boise State and San Diego State. Duke's academic reputation played a significant role in Holliday's commitment, according to Redell.

Ken Tysiac