Emanuel McGirt, a 6-foot-5, 271-pound offensive tackle at Durham Hillside, ended what was becoming one of the most contested recruiting battles in the Southeastern United States on Tuesday when he tweeted, “I’m officially committed to the University of North Carolina!” #TarHeels.
“His recruitment really didn’t take off this spring like I thought it would, but for the last two months he has been one of the hottest players around,” said Michael Clark, a recruiting specialist for Scout.com.
“Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and South Carolina all were involved. And they all really wanted him. It came down to Carolina, N.C. State and Georgia, I think, and UNC did a great job to get him.”
Clark said McGirt has tremendous potential.
“He is an exceptional athlete who moves very well,” Clark said. “He is a guy who will be able to carry 320, 330 pounds with no problem. He is an extremely high character guy that plays in a program with a history of developing players. Hillside’s Antonio King is one of the best coaches in the state. When players leave his program, they are ready.”
More recruiting: The Triangle has some of the most highly recruited high school football players in the country but only Wake Forest runner Bryce Love (5-foot-10, 184) has cracked the Rivals top 100 list. Love is ranked No. 98.
North Carolina is well represented on Rivals’ top list with No. 47 defensive end Jalen Dalton of West Forsyth (6-foot-6, 220), No. 60 defensive tackle Shy Tuttle of North Davidson (6-foot-2, 308), No. 79 defensive end Darian Roseboro of Lincolnton (6-foot-4, 283) and Love.
Scout.com has those four players rated as four-star prospects along with Princeton runner Johnny Frasier (5-foot-11, 205), who Scout ranks the No. 1 prospect in the state and the No. 3 running back prospect in the country.
Scout also gave four stars to Matthews Butler quarterback Anthony Ratliff (6-foot-2, 185), who is committed to North Carolina; Cleveland defensive tackle Sterling Johnson (6-foot-5, 270, Clemson); Cornelius Hough cornerback Mark Fields (5-foot-11, 180, South Carolina); Garner runner Nyheim Hines (5-foot-9, 180); Hough safety Van Smith (6-foot-0, 185, Clemson) and Northern Guilford cornerback Mook Reynolds (6-foot-0, 170, Virginia Tech).
247 recruiting has Tuttle (No. 29), Dalton (57) and Frasier (85) in its composite top 100. They are followed in the North Carolina rankings by Fields, Roseboro, Hines, Love and Johnson.
More on the way: Clark said the Triangle has an exceptional group of football seniors, but that the junior class is just as impressive.
He believes Wake Forest tackle Dexter Lawrence (6-foot-5, 290) will be one of the top prospects in the country next year. Apex’s versatile Ian Boyd (6-foot-3, 200), Millbrook quarterback Reid Herring (6-foot-3, 174), Southern Durham runner Jordan Brown (5-foot-10, 180) and Southeast Raleigh quarterback Dylan Parham (6-foot-4, 190) also get high marks.
“You look at the seniors and think there is no way the junior class can be as strong, but it is,” Clark said.
Track relays: Cary High girls, running as Imp nation, had three top-five relays in the New Balance Nationals track and field championships in Greensboro last weekend.
Freshman Susie Ngwe and juniors Desirae Rowell, Lakeisha Warner and Layla White were fourth in the 4x100 and 4x200 and fifth in the Swedish 1,000 relays.
Wakefield High girls, running with the Junior Striders Track club, had three top-10 finishes. Senior Ama-Selina Tchume, juniors JeMay Ward and Tia Robinson and sophomore Breanne Bygrave were third in the 4x200, fourth in the 4x400 and ninth in the Swedish relay.