Carolinas Trip: Day One

Scout spent three days in the Carolinas last week and we recap day one here where we saw over a dozen Division I prospects.

Learning more about known underclassmen and finding new ones was the main focus on this trip, so the bulk of the talent talked about here will be guys that fall in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 classes.

T.L. Hanna was stop number one on day one and Coach Fouch has four prospects I took a look at.


Justin Meredith is like a big receiver.
Headlining his underclassman group is 2012 tight end Justin Meredith. He is a 6-foot-5, 215 pound tight end with soft hands and good agility. He is more of a pass catching threat right now and he needs to add weight, get stronger, and improve his blocking for the next level. South Carolina has already offered him and he is hearing from many other programs including Clemson and Georgia.

Others in the 2012 class at T.L. Hanna are offensive tackle Chris McCroskey (6-3/280) and running back Will Gay (5-10/185). McCroskey has more of a guard body, so expect him to move inside on the next level and Gay is a back that has good feet and vision out of the backfield.

One to watch there in 2013 is linebacker Ben Boulware. He is a 6-foot-1, 220 pound sophomore with a good motor and good instincts.

Up the road at Wade Hampton, there is a junior running back that has a chance to be a top 10 prospect in South Carolina in 2012. Blake Hayes is a very strong back at 5-foot-11 and just over 200 pounds.

He is off to a big start with multiple 50 plus yard touchdowns runs through the first quarter of the season. He is receiving interest from Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, South Carolina, and UCLA among others. No offers are in yet, but they will come.

Woodruff High School is off the beating path a little bit, but they have some talented underclassmen.

Their top prospect is 2012 offensive tackle Javarius Leamon. He is a true 6-foot-6, 260 pounds with very long arms. He is on a number of recruiting boards already with offers from Clemson and South Carolina. Florida, Penn State, and Tennessee are three of the many other schools showing interest in this junior out of the Palmetto State. He is open to everyone right now.


Patrick Destefano already has seven offers.
Another junior to keep an eye on at Woodruff is Shun Tribble. He is a 5-foot-9, 160 pound back that hits the hole quickly and can make guys miss in the open field. After he and Leamon are gone, Blake Bone will be the prospect to watch at Woodruff. He is a 6-foot-3, 163 pound freshman wide receiver. He is very athletic, he is already getting reps on varsity, and he is a 2014 wideout that I expect to hear about in the coming years.

While Woodruff has not produced a lot of top prospects in recent years, Dorman has. That was my next stop on day one and while Clemson commitment Charone Peake is the jewel there now, headlining their class of 2012 list is offensive lineman Patrick Destefano.

The 6-foot-5, 270 pound tackle has that mean streak you look for in someone playing in the trenches and he is very light on his feet too. He has already received offers from Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Northwestern, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Stanford. He is hearing from many other programs and will reach double-digit offers in the near future.

Karras Cohen (6-0/162) and Raymond Smith (5-8/174) are two other juniors under Coach Gutshall. Cohen is an athlete that plays both wide receiver and cornerback and Smith is a slippery scat-back.

Like Dorman, Gaffney has top talent on a regular basis. They have Division I prospects there now in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 classes.

Leading the way in 2012 is linebacker Savon Dukes and Quinshad Davis. Dukes is that intimidating linebacker that hits and plays fast. He is 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. Davis is a long and rangy wide receiver at 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds. That size will attract many schools and offers are expected for both of these juniors in the near future.

Coming behind them is a 6-foot-3, 255 pound defensive lineman by the name of Jalen Miller. He is a sophomore with good agility and the frame to add weight to help him inside on the next level. He has a very high ceiling and is still growing on and off the field.


Jaylen Miller is already attracting major attention.
After seeing some top talent in South Carolina, I drove into North Carolina for the remainder of the day.

The first stop in the Tar Heel State was Crest. I had the chance to watch some film with Coach Barnes and I saw a lot of talented prospects immediately.

Six underclassmen really stood out and the three in the 2012 class were Rhaheim Ledbetter, Jonathan Bullard, and Tommy Pettis.

Ledbetter is a 5-foot-11, 190 pound safety that loves to hit. He plays smart and too overly aggressive, but he loves to strike his opponent and he showed great closing speed on film. Bullard is a 6-foot-4, 250 pound defensive end who closes on the ball well and still has the frame to add some good weight. Pettis is a 6-foot-4, 285 pound offensive lineman with a good frame and he could play tackle or guard in college. Dylan Hopper is a 6-foot-5, 295 pound offensive lineman with good length.

The only junior with an offer at this time is Ledbetter and he holds an offer from Clemson. Many more schools will offer him and all four will sign with Division I schools in 17 months.

In the 2013 class, Dane Rogers is a name you will hear a lot about. He is a 6-foo-3, 226 pound defensive end with a lot of athleticism. He could end up there, but do not rule tight end out either. He is a natural athlete with a lot of upside.

Natron Gidney is also in the 2013 class at Crest. He has a good frame and he looks more like a defensive lineman that an offensive lineman. He is currently just over 6-feet 2-inches tall and he is weighing around 230 pounds. A young lineman, but one that should continue to grow.

From Shelby to Mallard Creek I went.

That is the home of North Carolina commitment Marquise Williams. I got a chance to watch him practice for a couple of hours and I was impressed by his leadership skills and attitude as much as anything else.


Rhaheim Ledbetter is the cousin of Brandon Spikes.
While it was fun to watch and evaluate him, I was there mainly to focus on the underclassmen. There is no question about who their top underclassman is and possibly their top overall prospect is right now, that is D.J. Humphries.

He is a 6-foot-5, 270 pound junior with long arms, great feet, nice balance, and he looked like one of the best at his position in 2012. Humphries was very impressive in practice and he looked like a future five-star to me. He has a long list of offers already and he is likely going to stay somewhere in the South to play college football.

Other juniors at Mallard Creek are Takhare Donalson, Jamel Harbison, Corey Miller, and Mohamed Bessime. Donalson is a 5-foot-9, 180 pound corner, Harbison is a 5-foot-11, 181 pound wide receiver that also punts, Miller is a 6-foot, 180 pound wide receiver, and Bessime is a 6-foot-4, 220 pound defensive end.

I made a couple other quick stops to pick up some film on day one, but those were the big name prospects that I took a look at.

On day two, Keith Marshall out of Millbrook in Raleigh, N.C. headlined the group I saw. I visited another seven schools that day and a report will go live on Scout in the near future.

Chad Simmons started out with Scout in 2003 covering top talent in Georgia and other areas in the South. He then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become Southeast Recruiting Manager.
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