North Carolina football prospects shine at Nike camp in Oregon

tstevens@newsobserver.comJuly 4, 2013 

Photo By Damon Thomas

Leesville Road's Braxton Berrios (8) stiff arms Middle Creek's Dajuan Young during the second round of the NCHSAA 4A Playoffs on Nov. 9, 2012.


North Carolina high school football players were among the standouts this week at the Nike camp in Beaverton, Ore.

Recruiting expert Chad Simmons of Fox Sports had four players from North Carolina in his top 10 list of offensive performers at the elite camp, which included more than 100 of the top prospects in the country for combine testing and 7-on-7 play.

One of the most talked about players at the camp was Leesville Road receiver Braxton Berrios, who had a top-five performance in athletic skills on the first day and played well in the 7-on-7 workouts.

“Berrios had a great a couple of days,” Simmons said. “The kid just knows how to get open. He is great inside as a slot receiver, and he uses his quickness to get past the defensive backs.

“He may not be the biggest, but he plays hard, he is as consistent as they come when talking hands, and he just has a great feel for the game. He played a big part in his team winning the (7-on-7) championship.”

Berrios has narrowed his list of potential colleges to Clemson, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, although he said he might consider other schools.

Simmons also had Davidson Day quarterback Will Grier (a Florida commitment), running back Derrell Scott of Havelock (uncommitted) and Swansboro receiver De’Andre Thompson (Penn State) among his top 10 offensive players in the three-day event.

Bond wins honor: Nicole Bond of Clayton was named the 4A softball pitcher of the year from the East by the N.C. Softball Coaches Association.

The Northwestern University recruit led the Comets into the state playoffs for the past four years. The Comets were 15-5 this spring and reached the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs.

Bond hit .509 last season and was 15-4 with 213 strikeouts and an 0.72 ERA. She had more than 800 strikeouts in her career.

The coaches’ all-state teams, which were selected by classification, are huge. The 4A group has about 135 players from among the NCHSAA’s 100 4A schools. Alexander Central, Richmond County and Lake Norman have seven players each.

The team, along with 1A, 2A and 3A teams, can be found at www.ncfastpitch. org/listing/2013_All-State.pdf.

Spartans prepare: Several Southern Durham football players participated in the Drew Brees 7-on-7 Passing Academy in Orlando, Fla.

“I was excited about what I saw from our guys,” Southern coach Adrian Jones said.

The Spartans are moving from the 4A classification to 3A this fall and the goal is a state title.

“The kids’ attitudes toward this goal are on a high, and they have bought into this goal,” Jones said.

Among the veterans expected back are quarterback Kendall Hinton; wide receiver Maurice Trowell, an N.C. State commitment; and lineman Noah Chase.

The Spartans returned the majority of their starters from 2012’s 7-4 season.

Southern will play in the Big Eight 3A this fall along with Cardinal Gibbons, Cedar Ridge, Chapel Hill, Northern Vance, Pittsboro Northwood, Orange and Oxford Webb.

Lacrosse commitment: Cardinal Gibbons senior Gannon Morrison, who scored 129 points in 2013, has committed to Marist.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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