April 16, 2007

N.C. Junior Day brings out talent

MATTHEWS, N.C. - The first annual Rivals.com Junior Day in North Carolina brought a large crowd of more than 130 prospects from the Charlotte area and beyond despite poor weather conditions. Led by tight end Dwayne Allen, arguably the most physically impressive prospect at the event, numerous top names appeared.

Allen, from Fayetteville (N.C.) Terry Sanford is a great-looking prospect at 6-foot-4 and 243 pounds. Allen is committed to Georgia but Bulldog fans better watch out for North Carolina. Allen was at UNC's Spring Game the day before the junior day.

Robert Blaton, who has lost count of his offers already, measured in at 6-foot-1 and 177 pounds and claims no early leaders although there were a few Notre Dame rumors floating around at the event. Blanton hails from the host school, Butler High School.

Fellow Butler High School standouts Spencer Adams, Eddie Whitley and Jacob Charest. Adams, who listed North Carolina, Clemson and Virginia Tech as his top three, checked in at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds while Whitley, favoring NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech , was 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. Both are defensive backs at Butler as well.

Charest, the quarterback for Butler, measured 6-foot-4 and 193 pounds and lists Cal as his leader followed closely by NC State, Louisville and Illinois.

While the Butler boys are getting a great deal of attention, there were also others at the event who easily passed the eyeball test.

Charlotte (N.C.) Independence tight end Mario Carter also looked the part at 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds. Carter, who also looks like he could easily play defensive end at the next level, lists NC State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech as his leaders. However, word is that Carter could be a Wolfpack commitment within the next few weeks.

Offensive tackle R.J. Mattes stood head and shoulders over many at 6-foot-7 and weighed in at a lean 262 pounds. Mattes, from Concord (N.C.) Robinson put down Clemson, Virginia and North Carolina as his top three on his questionnaire. He has the protoypical build for a tackle.

Matching Mattes in height was Charlotte (N.C.) Latin quarterback Braden Hanson. Hanson measured 6-foot-7 and weighed 194 pounds. The tall lefty has offers from North Carolina, Missouri, Duke and Wisconsin with more to come soon.

Dallas (N.C.) North Gaston quarterback A.J. Blue could easily play safety or linebacker at the next level as well with his impressive build. Duke has already offered the 6-foot-3, 208-pounder but Virginia Tech, Tennessee and North Carolina topped his favorites list.

Other lesser-known names passing the eyeball test include Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley tight end Kelsey Stevens, Asheville, N.C. defensive back Rahkeem Morgan and Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic offensive tackle Andrew Wallace.

One 2009 name to remember is Raleigh (N.C.) Southeast Raleigh mammoth offensive tackle Marcus Gaines-Cherry who checked in at 6-foot-5 and 350 pounds.

Mike Farrell is the National Recruiting Analyst for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mike@rivals.com

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