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Early 2003 Commitments Still Coming Fast

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
May 14,2002 Too many commitments, too little space:

Jones County (MS) Community College DE Kennie Covington (6-3, 265), a 2001 N.C. State signee out of Laurinburg (NC) Scotland County who failed to qualify academically, said he'll re-sign with the Wolfpack this year. He hopes to graduate from Jones County in December and enroll at NCSU in January 2003.

Thomasville (GA) High PK/P Alex Feinberg (6-0, 180), a first-team Class 3A all-state selection last season as a punter, picked Duke over interest from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame and South Carolina. An excellent (4.0 GPA) student, he averaged 44 yards per punt as a junior while also handling kicking duties. He put 85 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone, converted seven of 10 field goal tries (with a long of 45) and made 35 of 39 extra point attempts. His career long on field goals is 52 yards. He plans to attend the Auburn, Duke and Georgia camps this summer.

Jacksonville (FL) Bolles OL John Frady (6-4, 275), regarded as one of the top offensive linemen in the Sunshine State, committed to Florida State over scholarship offers from Florida, LSU, Miami and others. An outstanding (3.2 GPA, 1,360 SAT) student and well-regarded run blocker with good (4.9) speed, he's expected to play guard or center for the Seminoles. A first-team Class 2A all-state selection as a junior, he left open the possibility of visiting the Gators and/or Hurricanes after his senior season.

Wilmington (NC) Laney DT Marcus Hands (6-5, 250), rated one of the top 10 rising seniors in North Carolina, committed to UNC over interest from Duke, ECU (offer), Missouri, Nebraska, N.C. State, Penn State (offer), South Carolina (offer), Tennessee, Virginia (offer) and Wake Forest (offer). After transferring to Laney last year from Wilmington (NC) Hoggard, where he started as a freshman and sophomore, he had 38 tackles and three sacks for a 15-1 team. An excellent athlete with good speed (4.8) for his size, he's expected to grow into a tackle at the college level. He followed recent Laney products Kitwana Jones and Rashaad Tindall in picking the Tar Heels.

Henderson (NC) Southern Vance QB Chris Hawkins (6-3, 190), rated one of the top 10 rising seniors in North Carolina, picked N.C. State over interest from Michigan, UNC (offer), Virginia Tech (offer) and Wake Forest (offer). A solid (2.7 GPA, 960 SAT) student, he completed 52 of 94 passes for 1,070 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, while rushing 44 times for 728 yards and seven scores. Southern Vance LB Ernest Jones (6-3, 215), a top-25 prospect, picked the Pack over interest from UNC, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Bealeton (VA) Liberty OL Kalani Heppe (6-4, 270), rated one of the top 25 rising seniors in Virginia, chose N.C. State over interest from Alabama, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia (offer). A solid (3.0 GPA, 1,010 SAT) student with 5.2 speed, he's expected to play guard for the Wolfpack.

Copiah-Lincoln (MS) Community College LB/DE Antwan Marsh (6-3, 230), a 2001 N.C. State commitment out of Wadesboro (NC) Anson County who failed to qualify academically, said he will sign with the Wolfpack this winter as long as he meets specified academic standards. (Juco prospects who want to transfer to schools in the North Carolina university system must meet state-specific requirements that generally are more difficult than those in other states.) An amazing athlete with 4.5 speed and a 330-pound bench press, he said he'll attend Mississippi State (offer) if things don't work out with the Pack. He hopes to graduate from Copiah-Lincoln in December and enroll at his school of choice in January.

East Orange (NJ) Essex Catholic LB Marvin Richardson (6-4, 210), rated one of the top 25 rising seniors in New Jersey, picked Virginia over interest from Rutgers and Vanderbilt. Considered a raw athlete with good (4.55) speed, he runs the 100-meter hurdles and 4x100 relay for his school's track team. He also was receiving preliminary recruiting interest from several Division I basketball programs but will play only football in college.

Clifton (VA) Centreville OL Matt Welsh (6-4, 275), rated the No. 1 offensive lineman in Virginia, chose Virginia Tech over scholarship offers from Michigan State, Tennessee and Virginia. A first-team Group 3A pick as a junior, he follows in the footsteps of Centreville alumni Danny McGrath, Will Montgomery and Blake Warren in picking the Hokies.

Very Late Class Of 2002 News

Charlotte (NC) West Charlotte QB Duwuan Burton (6-5, 240), a record-breaking quarterback who received very little Division I-A interest but once spoke of walking on at UNC this fall, signed with Morehouse. … Williamsburg (VA) Lafayette PK Connor Hughes, unranked, decided to play football at Virginia as a recruited walk-on rather than accepting a partial scholarship offer to play soccer at Virginia Tech. He was a first-team Group 2A selection for a state championship team as a senior. … Columbia (SC) Richland Northeast DB Ridwan Malik (6-0, 180), unranked, signed with West Virginia. He was a Shrine Bowl selection.

Academics update: Duke and Georgia Tech remain the only two ACC schools whose entire recruiting classes have met minimum NCAA academic standards. In mid-May, every other team had at least one prospect who needed to upgrade his core-course GPA and/or standardized test score (ACT or SAT) in order to be a full qualifier: NCSU (five), FSU (four), Clemson (three), UNC (three), Virginia (three), Maryland (two), Wake Forest (one).

According to the players, their coaches and/or family members, 19 of the 21 prospects still expect to qualify, either by raising their GPA during the spring semester (high school grades usually are posted in June) or by improving their test score. The ACT (June 8) and SAT (June 1) are offered only once more before the beginning of the fall semester.

Jacksonville (FL) Mandarin DT Chris Anderson, a SuperPrep All-American who signed with FSU, probably will attend junior college in Mississippi next season. Pamplico (SC) Hannah-Pamplico LB/DE Cory Groover, a SuperPrep All-American who signed with Clemson, probably will attend prep school or junior college this fall.

Among those ACC signees who recently reported qualifying scores were Alpharetta (GA) Chattahoochee DT Chris Bradwell of FSU, Naples (FL) High RB Duane Coleman of Clemson, St. Petersburg (FL) Catholic WR Chris Davis of FSU, Farmingdale (NY) High LB/DE Randy Earle of Maryland, Bowie (MD) High LB Reggie Holmes of Maryland, Madison (FL) County FB Torrance Washington of FSU and former Washington (DC) Dunbar DB Marcus Wimbush of Maryland.