The Class of 2015 was expected to be best group of high school football players ever in the Triangle and judging by the level of college recruiting interest the seniors delivered.
Nine of the 10 seniors selected for The News & Observer’s All-Metro team have accepted Division I football scholarships, eight of the scholarships to Atlantic Coast Conference teams.
N.C. State signed four of the standouts – running backs Johnny Frasier of Princeton and Nyheim Hines of Garner and lineman James Smith-Williams of Millbrook and Emanual McGirt of Durham Hillside.
Clemson picked up defensive lineman Sterling Johnson of Cleveland and Logan Tisch of Chapel Hill.
Millbrook’s Marcus Marshall chose Georgia Tech and Southern Durham quarterback Kendall Hinton already has enrolled at Wake Forest.
Wake Forest High runner Bryce Love was the lone exception, signing with Stanford.
The group may have had more high end talent than any other class ever in the area.
“The depth was there,” said Mike Farrell, the national recruiting analyst for the rivals.com recruiting site. “There were a lot of really good players.”
The Triangle Class of 2016 is deep and has high end talent. Overall, next year’s senior class in North Carolina may be a little better overall than the class of 2015.
“North Carolina didn’t have a 5-star players this year,” Farrell said. “Next year, it probably will have at least a couple.”
Wake Forest High defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) and Havelock linebacker Keion Joyner (6-4, 220) are expected to be among the best players in the country and are labeled as 5-star recruits. Southern Durham runner Jordan Brown (5-11, 179) and Greenville Rose receiver Cornell Powell (6-1, 190) currently carry four stars, Farrell said.
“Dexter is one of the best players in the country,” Farrell said. “His recruiting process will be interesting because everybody in the country will be interested. He is going to get like a billion offers. I imagine it is going to be tough for him to tell people ‘no.’”
2015 Triangle-area recruits
Johnny Frasier, Princeton, B, 5-foot-11, 220 pounds, N.C. State
Nyheim Hines, Garner, B, 5-f9, 187 pounds, N.C. State
Kendall Hinton, Southern Durham, QB, 6-0, 180 pounds, Wake Forest University*
Sterling Johnson, Cleveland, L, 6-5, 281 pounds, Clemson*
Bryce Love, Wake Forest, B, 5-10, 180 pounds, Stanford
Marcus Marshall, Millbrook, B, 5-10, 200 pounds, Georgia Tech
Emanuel McGirt, Hillside, L, 6-5, 263 pounds, N.C. State
Logan Tisch, Chapel Hill, L, 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, Clemson
James Smith-Williams, Millbrook, L, 6-4, 210 pounds, N.C. State*
*Enrolled for spring semester
|Matt Baker, Heritage||RB||6-0||220||Elon|
|Jalon Bethea, Hillside||DB||6-0||170||N.C. A&T|
|Brandon Baucom, West Johnston||CB||5-11||175||Guilford|
|Sam Campbell, West Johnston||DE||6-5||240||Lenoir Rhyne|
|Tyree Chavious, Rosewood||OL||6-4||280||James Madison|
|Garrett Cloer, Orange||QB||6-4||210||Cornell|
|Zach Coates, Wake Forest||K||6-2||175|
|J.J. Cyriaque, Jordan||C||6-2||275||Morehouse College|
|Kengera Daniel, Millbrook*||DE||6-6||250||Kentucky|
|Damien Dozier, Knightdale||LB||6-3||215||Marshall|
|Gershom Ejoni, Heritage||WR||6-5||190||Richmond|
|Houshun Gaines, Nash Central||DE||6-4||225||Virginia Tech|
|Cody Garner, Princeton||RB||6-2||180||UNC-Pembroke|
|Jeff Gemmell, Heritage||LB||6-3||215||Charlotte|
|Brant Grisel, Middle Creek||QB||6-3||215||Charleston (WV) U.|
|Mike Hughes, New Bern||ATH||5-10||160||North Carolina|
|Wade Johnson, Holly Springs||ATH||6-2||210||Wingate|
|Noah Layden, Chapel Hill||DE||6-5||215||Campbell|
|Warren Messer, Garner||LB||6-1||225||Elon|
|Anthony Mitchell. Middle Creek||DE||6-3||250||Lenoir Rhyne|
|Josh Murphy, Heritage||CB||5-11||195||Mars Hill|
|Cole Nigro, Sanderson||LB||6-1||230||N.C. State|
|A.J. Oneal, Holly Springs||LB||6-3||215||Old Dominion|
|Elijah Perry, Middle Creek||RB||5-8||175||Gardner-Webb|
|Damontay Rhem, East Wake||RB||5-11||205||UNC-Pembroke|
|Kadarus Rone, Northwood||WR||6-3||208||Winston-Salem St.|
|Michael Rubino, Middle Creek||K||6-3||190||Appalachian St.|
|Trai Sharp, Carrboro||RB||5-10||185||James Madison|
|Antwain Terry, Wake Forest||DL||6-2||270|
|C.J. Toogood, Holly Springs||DL||6-2||260||Elon|
|Elijah Washington, Northwood||DL||6-0||350||Elizabeth City St.|
|Michael Wooten, Princeton||QB||6-3||195||Campbell|
National ranking of area seniors
Showing national rank (position rank)
|Johnny Frasier, Princeton||53 (4)||215 (24)||44 (2)||80 (6)|
|Nyheim Hines, Garner||133 (18)||94 (2)||160 (5)||155 (16)|
|Bryce Love, Wake Forest||>300||134 (6)||>250 (24)||215 (18)|
|Emanuel McGirt, Hillside||282 (28)||196 (14)||164 (15)||>300|
Area seniors to watch in 2015
Currently ranked as 2-star or higher by rivals.com
|Dexter Lawrence, Wake Forest||DL||6-5||290||5|
|Jordan Brown, Southern Durham||RB||5-11||179||4|
|Ian Boyd, Apex||WR||6-3||203||3|
|Ridge Ford, Green Hope||DB||5-11||175||3|
|Reid Herring, Millbrook||QB||6-3||172||3|
|Dylan Parham, Southeast Raleigh||QB||6-4||195||3|
|Marcus Willoughby, Riverside||ATH||6-3||220||2|
|Bryce Dixon, Green Hope||WR||6-4||204||2|