Colleges

SEC benefiting from top NC football talent

Posted August 24, 2012
Updated August 26, 2012

Year after year, high school football players are leaving the state of North Carolina to play at other schools in different conferences. The SEC is the big winner of in-state talent, including bagging a pair of running backs that went to Georgia where the Bulldogs have enjoyed an open gate in North Carolina

Recruiting rankings are subjective, but looking at the 2012 Top-10 high school prospects in North Carolina, only Greensboro's James Summers elected to stay in state.

But instead of UNC, Summers enrolled at Hargrave Military academy. Six of the top 10 prospects from 2012 are freshmen in the SEC, including Tarboro's Todd Gurley and Millbrook's Keith Marshall who joined forces at Georgia.

"I didn't really care about that "stay in the state" thing,” said Marshall. “I was trying to look for the best situation for me so I came here."

"(There) wasn't (any) pressure on me,” said Gurley. “A lot of people wanted me to stay in state, but it didn't matter to me."

Both Marshall and Gurley were recruited by North Carolina and NC State, but once they experienced a game day at Georgia, they were hooked.

"The atmosphere here was crazy,” Gurley said. “I had never been to a game like that as far as 90,000 fans screaming and yelling."

"It was a great experience seeing a big SEC game with 92,000 people,” Marshall said. “Everybody (is) coming up to you, wanting you to come here."

Gurley and Marshall aren't the first to cross the NC border and head to Georgia. Current grad assistant coach Dan Inman went from South View High School, in Cumberland County, to start for the Dogs in 2003. He also heard the pitch from the in-state schools to stay home.

"I was committed early my sophomore year to East Carolina,” Inman recalled. “When Coach (Chuck) Amato went to NC State and Coach (Mark) Richt came to Georgia, Coach Amato recruited me real hard. My dad said he wasn't going to watch me walk away from ECU to go to NC State."

Sometimes in-state battles lead to defections. That's not a new story, just one that continues in football.

Looking at the 2013 high school player rankings out of the top 15, 5 have already committed to the SEC. Four will remain in state to play for North Carolina.

12 Comments

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  • Rapid Deployment Aug 25, 6:57 p.m.

    Oh don't worry about them leaving. When their playing years (and I mean four),are over, they will be back home, with their great SEC educations, living with mom and pop, competing with thier old cross town high school rivals for a clean up job with parks and recreation.

  • Stillhere36 Aug 25, 3:23 p.m.

    I think its a shame & something I don't quite understand that these kids obviously don't feel any loyalty for or pride in playing for a home state school. I'm sure its impressive & exciting to play in front of 90,000 crazed fans but if you can't relate in any other way to those fans or that school then there's no comparison IMHO.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Aug 25, 2:27 p.m.

    Is this really news? Next, there will be an article about how UNC and Duke get top basketball... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    :)

  • 4tarheels Aug 25, 9:18 a.m.

    Is this really news? Next, there will be an article about how UNC and Duke get top basketball talent from all other the country. Nah, really?

  • Hokies94 Aug 24, 10:08 p.m.

    When you look at the top academic schools in the ACC, I think that they will exceed the SEC. ... View More

    — Posted by Hokies94

    You're right that education is the ticket, but are you watching the Giants/Chicago game? David... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    I am watching it JGunn. Wilson took a lot of flack from some saying that he didn't pick up the plays quickly enough previously. Some even stated that he was over-rated. He has proven some critics wrong. VT has a reputation of having solid RB's and DB's. Beamer and Foster have done really well. We had 2X's the yardage vs Michigan last season and lost. That's the only kick on Beamer. Bowl games.

    I'm happy for Wilson, Yates, Hosley, Luke Kuechley, Cole, and all of the rest that had a dream.

  • StunGunn Aug 24, 9:27 p.m.

    When you look at the top academic schools in the ACC, I think that they will exceed the SEC. ... View More

    — Posted by Hokies94

    You're right that education is the ticket, but are you watching the Giants/Chicago game? David Wilson is looking really, really good. He may have gotten an education at VT, but you know he got quality coaching from Beamer.

  • StunGunn Aug 24, 9:24 p.m.

    I wish there was a way to keep the talent in North Carolina, but the SEC is tough to compete with. Kids have said when they walk onto the field at an SEC school, it's just "different". It's hard to compete with that, and as a Heels fan, I don't want to see the arms race in athletics heat up; I'd rather see it in the classroom than on the field.

  • Hokies94 Aug 24, 9:22 p.m.

    When you look at the top academic schools in the ACC, I think that they will exceed the SEC. Some of these guys think that playing for an SEC school will get them into the Pro's. We all know how many the SEC turns out every year to go Pro. Then, look at the small percentage that will even get an opportunity to make it to the next level. Education is the real ticket.

  • Ken D. Aug 24, 8:41 p.m.

    So what these boys are saying is we think we can make it in the NFL so forget a good education.
    View More

    — Posted by OGE

    With very few exceptions, the education a quality football player will get in the SEC is just as good as the one he will get in the ACC. The education available to the general student population may be arguably better in the ACC, but that doesn't mean that much to the kid who has a full time job playing football.

  • OGE Aug 24, 8:30 p.m.

    So what these boys are saying is we think we can make it in the NFL so forget a good education.

    Chances are we won't see either of them on Sunday unless they are taking your order at the local Sports bar.

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Local
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNCW
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CAR
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CHA
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9:30pm Tonight
WVU
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Final
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DAL
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LALAF 16
NEV 3
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UTEP 6
UTST 21
3rd
COLST 10
UTAH 24
 
1st
AFA 0
WMICH 3
 
9:15pm Tonight
BGU
SALABAMA
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
Final
BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
Final
VILL 82
SYR 77
Final
VT 64
CITA 61
Final
DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
Final
YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
Final
FD 76
DEL 74
 
Final
PSU 73
DREX 68
Final
UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
Final
ILL 62
MIZZ 59
Final
CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
Final
LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
Final
HOU 63
SCST 71
 
Final
FSU 75
SFLA 62
 
Final
BING 51
BONA 69
 
Final
RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
Final
MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
Final
JVU 84
TRUETT 55
 
Final
GT 65
VANDY 60
Final
INDST 56
EILL 60
 
Final
BUT 73
IND 82
Final
STEPH 94
ARTCH 57
 
Final
OREG 83
DELST 70
 
Final
Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
Final
TXARL 89
HPYN 50
 
Final
KU 96
LAF 69
Final
ARKST 67
MARS 58
Final
MEM 78
ORU 63
Final
KNST 53
UMBC 66
 
Final
NW 67
WMICH 61
Final
MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
Final
CHIST 77
STJOE 54
 
Final
KENT 83
UCLA 42
Final
COC 68
DAVID 80
 
2nd
RIU 67
DET 51
 
2nd
UCR 74
HOUB 60
 
2nd
MURST 69
ILLST 61
 
2nd
NWST 88
LALAF 84
 
2nd
WAGN 61
MON 65
 
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
1st OT
PITT 72
OU 72
 
Final
TENNM 77
PBY 60
 
2nd
WYO 57
SOUTH 39
 
2nd
AFA 64
UCD 75
 
2nd
MSST 49
USCU 51
 
Half
JMU 37
HIGH 36
 
Half
TXST 49
HTILL 35
 
Half
DRAK 20
ISU 36
 
2nd
SHU 41
UNH 27
 
Half
SCU 33
NE 42
 
Half
MSU 30
TXSOU 25
 
1st
UF 28
WAKE 17
 
1st
ND 34
PURD 31
 
1st
SHSU 14
PVU 12
 
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