Shrine Bowl Invite Quick Hitters

Larenz Bryant

Clemmons,N.C.-The North Carolina Shrine Bowl coaching staff held an invitation-only workout over the weekend. Many of the top prospects from The Tar Heel State were there. News and notes from the event are below.

Overall, Larenz Bryant (6'2/210) may have had the best spring of any prospect in the state. The Vance High (Charlotte, N.C.) linebacker has around 25 scholarship offers, but has competed in numerous events over the past few months. At each event, he performed at an extremely high level. However, the biggest news from Bryant on Saturday came when four-star linebacker named a leader for his services. Bryant said Virginia is his leader. Along with the Cavaliers, South Carolina, Clemson, Florida, and Alabama (most recent offer) round out his top five. It is worth noting that Virginia is also one of the top schools for Butler High (Matthews, N.C.) linebacker Peter Kalambayi. Landing the top two linebackers in North Carolina would be quite an accomplishment for the Virginia coaching staff. Currently, Scout's No. 7 outside linebacker plans to make his decision in late December or early January.

Greg Gilmore (6'4/290) was dominant all day. Since the conclusion of last season, he has added 20 pounds of muscle. LSU remains his leader, followed by Florida and USC. Clemson and Alabama are the final two schools in his top five. June will be a pivotal month for the four-star defensive tackle. The South View High (Hope Mills, N.C.) star is set to visit Florida June 9, Alabama the 16, and Southern Cal the 26 and 27. After the Southern Cal visit, Gilmore will have visited each of his top five schools. It is possible that he could make his decision at the end of July.

Lewis Neal (6'2/235) looked good on Saturday. The Hunt High (Wilson, N.C.) defensive end/linebacker is in tremendous shape and continues to show why he is one of the top players in the state. On the recruiting front, Neal has two visits set for this summer. He will visit LSU on June 23 and Tennessee sometime in early July. I believe those two visits will go a long way when the time comes for him to narrow his list of potential schools. He said he will likely trim his list to six before his season starts.

Keeon Johnson (6'3/200) just keeps getting better. Johnson is a physical specimen at the wide receiver position. The A.L. Brown product ran good routes and showed great hands. Recruiting remains the same for Johnson. North Carolina, Virginia, and Notre Dame are his top three schools. He will likely make return visits to each school in the next few months. He has recently added offers from Minnesota and Miami. Johnson said he would likely trim his list down at the end of the summer and possibly make his decision in December.

Roanoke Rapids (N.C.) High defensive end Nazair Jones (6'5/260) did not participate, but was in attendance. Jones is still recovering from injury. He has offers from South Carolina and Virginia, but said North Carolina is his leader. He expects to make a full recovery by the time his season starts. If that happens, look for him to pick up several more offers.

Vance High (Charlotte, N.C.) cornerback Jalen Latter (6'/185) is a prospect that continues to impress. Although he plays quarterback at his high school, he looks like he will be able to make a smooth transition to the defensive side of the ball at the collegiate level. Latter holds offers from Navy, Air Force, and UNC-Charlotte. He said he is also hearing from Wake Forest, Duke, and N.C. State. This summer, he will camp at Wake Forest, Duke, N.C. State, Tennessee, and Virginia. Latter said he thought Duke and Wake Forest were close to offering,

Johnathan Alston (6'2/185) looked much more comfortable at wide receiver than in previous events. His coach said Alston is set on playing receiver in college, although several schools are recruiting him as an outside linebacker. North Carolina, N.C. State, and Notre Dame are the main schools in the mix for the Bunn (N.C.) High star. Alston will visit all three schools this summer. He also recently picked up offers from Georgia, Syracuse, and Minnesota.

Parting Shots

North Carolina commitments Hillside High (Durham, N.C.) safety Korrin Wiggins (6'1/190) and Mallard Creek High (Charlotte, N.C.) cornerback Brian Walker (5'11/185) performed well. Both have good ball skills and are extremely physical. Another thing worth mentioning is how much bigger Walker has gotten. I saw him last fall and he has easily added 10 to 15 pounds of muscle. Both will be very good players for the Tar Heels.

Richmond County High (Rockingham, N.C.) offensive guard Tyrone Crowder (6'3/320) continues to impress me more each time I see him. He is so strong at the point of attack and a tremendous athlete for a player his size. He will visit South Carolina, Georgia, and Clemson this summer. Crowder will likely release a top five soon.

Tarboro (N.C.) High defensive end Tyquan Lewis (6'4/225) showed his versatility lining up primarily at outside linebacker during the event. He looked very good going through drills and could easily make the transition to linebacker at the next level. Lewis has close to 20 offers, with the latest coming today, from Kentucky. His next visit will be to Ohio State on June 10.

The top two quarterbacks in the state, Riley Ferguson of Butler High (Matthews, N.C.) and Connor Mitch of Wakefield High (Raleigh, N.C.) did not attend. Other notable players not in attendance included Ferguson's teammates, linebacker Peter Kalambayi and wide receiver Uriah LeMay. Lexington (N.C.) High running back Marquez Grayson, Albemarle (N.C.) High offensive tackle R.J. Prince, and Mallard Creek High wide receiver Marquez North also did not attend.

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