Many of the top-rated players on North Carolina’s Shrine Bowl roster have already committed to schools, but there are still a few who haven’t.
The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is an annual all-star game that pits the best seniors from North Carolina against the best seniors from South Carolina. The game will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday at Wofford College’s Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.
The game is an opportunity for players to showcase their talents in front of college coaches and scouts before Feb. 1, the date for athletes to sign a National Letter of Intent.
Here are some of the top uncommitted players to watch for in this game:
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Garner’s Matthew Butler
Garner’s Matthew Butler, a 6-4, 265-pound defensive lineman, was a major part of the Trojan’s defense on a team that made it to the third round of the NCHSAA 4AA playoffs before losing to Middle Creek. He put up huge numbers in 2016, accumulating 89 tackles and 25 sacks, according to Max Preps.
Butler is rated three stars by 247sports.com. Butler said his top choices are N.C. State, Duke, Tennessee, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Penn State.
Butler wrote in a tweet Friday that he will announce his decision on Dec. 21.
Orange’s Stone Edwards
Stone Edwards, a 6-5, 240-pound defensive lineman, helped lead Orange High School in Hillsborough to the second round of the 3A state playoffs before losing to Havelock 14-7. He finished the 2016 season with 67 tackles and 13 sacks, according to Max Preps.
Edwards has offers from the Air Force, Army, Elon, Miami (Ohio), Old Dominion, Buffalo, The Citadel and Toledo.
Middle Creek’s John Singleton
John Singleton, a 6-5, 207-pound outside linebacker, was the SWAC defensive player of the year in 2016. He helped lead Middle Creek to an undefeated regular season and a trip to the semifinals of the 4AA state playoffs before losing in overtime to Wake Forest. Singleton finished the season with 70 tackles, 10 of them for a loss, and 7.5 sacks. He also blocked three punts, had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Singleton has an offer from Fayetteville State University.
J. Mike Blake contributed to this report
Wake Forest’s Gill postpones decision
Wake Forest’s Xach Gill was initially selected to North Carolina’s Shrine Bowl roster. However, he’ll play in the 4AA state championship on Saturday.
The 6-5, 270-pound defensive lineman has received 11 offers, but has narrowed his choice down to the UNC and Virginia Tech. He announced on Twitter Sunday that he planned to put off his decision until Dec. 19, after the state championship game.
“First off I want to thank the Wake Forest community for all of the love and support throughout my high school career but at the beginning of the season I set out a goal with my brothers to win a state championship and I don’t want any distractions from that goal,” he tweeted.
Gill finished his senior season with 79 tackles, 34 of them for a loss, and 16 sacks.