Shrine Bowl Preview: N.C.
Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Dec 12, 2011
Chad Simmons


Todd Gurley has won three straight state championships at Tarboro and he hopes to continues to win this week in the Shrine Bow.

North Carolina fell to South Carolina 42-10 in 2010 and they are looking to change that outcome in 2011. They have some of the top prospects in the country on their team.

Six out of the Scout300

Six prospects on this team are currently four-star prospects on Scout and three are considered top 100 prospects in America.

Carlos Watkins and Jonathan Bullard are both defensive linemen and Brock Stadnik is an offensive tackle, and all three are among the top 94 prospects in the country.

Watkins is committed to Clemson, Stadnik is committed to South Carolina, and Bullard has not committed yet.

The other three prospects in the Scout300 are wide receiver Germone Hopper, running back Todd Gurley, and safety Rhaheim Ledbetter.

Hooper is a player with speed that is committed to Clemson, Ledbetter is a hard-hitting safety that is committed to Florida, and Gurley is a physical running back that is still looking at Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, and North Carolina State.

Future Irish Teammates

Two prospects on North Carolina's team are committed to Notre Dame. Romeo Okwara is a 6-foot-4, 225 pound defensive end out of Audrey Kell and Mark Harrell is a 6-foot-5, 270 pound offensive tackle out of Charlotte Catholic.

Harrell has spent most of the last couple of years playing tight end, so he still needs to add weight, improve as a true offensive tackle, and get familiar with that position on the next level.

Okwara is a physical end that has good length and knows how to control the edge. One of his strengths coming out of high school is getting after the quarterback.

Two-Sport Star

D.J. Reader is not only a good offensive and defensive lineman, but he is also a two-sport star.

Over the summer, Reader plays baseball. He throws over 90 mph on the mound and he can hit the long-ball when he is batting.

In football, he is one of the most sought after prospects in the Tar Heel State. Some like him as a defensive tackle or nose guard while others like him as an offensive guard or center.

Reader is a 6-foot-3, 330 pound two-sport star is currently looking hardest at Clemson, Maryland, and North Carolina.

Some to Keep an Eye On

  • Jela Duncan: Not the biggest running back, but he runs with a low center of gravity and good balance.

  • Jamal Marcus: A strong defensive end with active hands and good against the run.

  • Dahman McKinnon: A Virginia Tech commitment that has big-play ability. A very good tackler in the open field.

  • James Summers: A very athletic quarterback that can hurt defenses in the air or on the ground. He is committed to North Carolina State.
    Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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    DE Jonathan Bullard (profile)
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    S Rhaheim Ledbetter (profile)
    DT Carlos Watkins (profile)
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