Since the NCAA allowed high school football recruits to sign in December for the first time last winter, many of the top prospects in the state have already verbally committed to schools.
In the past, players could only sign beginning the second Wednesday of February, national signing day. However, a huge number of prospects took advantage of the December signing period and that took some of the luster off the February event.
Another large number of players in the class of 2019 in North Carolina gave their verbals in the spring and over the summer, with many of those players prepared to sign in December and enroll in college in January. As high school football practice starts next week, there are still some top prospects in North Carolina who have yet to commit.
Here is the list of remaining players in the top 20, according to 247Sports, who have yet to verbally commit.
Quavaris Crouch - Harding University High, Charlotte, Athlete
Crouch (6-2, 238) is the No. 1 player in the state and the No. 2 athlete in the nation. Chances are he won’t play his college football in the state of North Carolina. Clemson is considered the favorite for the running back/linebacker, who also holds offers from UNC and N.C. State. Crouch, who led Harding to a NCHSAA title, rushed for 3,142 yards and 31 scores as a junior. As a linebacker he collected 42 tackles and 14 sacks.
Top 5: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina
Tyus Fields - Hough High, Cornelius, CB
Fields’ teammate, Jalen Frazier, who plays cornerback on the other side of the field, verbally committed to N.C. State in April, so there is a good chance he’s working on Fields (5-10, 182) who is the No. 6 player in North Carolina and the No. 23 ranked cornerback in the country. Like Crouch, Clemson is the favorite, but with the momentum the Wolfpack has in recruiting in-state players, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Fields, who also has an offer from North Carolina, ended up in Raleigh. Has five career interceptions through three varsity seasons.
Top 5: Clemson, N.C. State, Penn State, Tennessee, Florida State
Khafre Brown - West Mecklenburg High, Charlotte, WR
Brown, the No. 8 player in North Carolina, is the No. 33 wide receiver in the nation and it appears the Tar Heels are in the drivers seat for the services of the 5-11, 176-pounder. Brown camped at UNC this summer and took an unofficial visit there this summer. Was clocked at a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash. His older brother, Dyami, is a freshman wide receiver at UNC.
Top 5: UNC, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama
J.R. Walker - Clayton High, Athlete
Walker (6-0, 205) transferred to Clayton from Elizabeth City Northeastern this summer, a great addition to the Comets. Walker, the No. 12 player in the state and the No. 24 athlete in the country, will have a recruiter in teammate Savion Jackson, who committed to N.C. State last month. As a part-time quarterback/running back, he rushed for 1,019 yards and 15 scores on 71 carries. He also averaged 19.1 yards per catch as a wide receiver. On defense, where he plays in the secondary, Walker registered 73 tackles and seven interceptions.
Top 5: N.C. State, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina
Traveon Freshwater - Northeastern High, Elizabeth City, ILB
A former teammate of Walker’s, Freshwater (6-1, 220) might stay close to home and chose East Carolina, the favorite according to 247sports crystal ball. But, again, with their current momentum, N.C. State might make a late push to add another linebacker to their current class, which also features Drake Thomas (No. 23) and Jaylon Scott (No. 28). Freshwater is the No. 17 player in North Carolina the No. 16 inside linebacker. Has been a workhorse for the Eagles since his freshman year of high school. In three seasons he’s collected 371 tackles and 61 sacks. Last season he rushed for 2,015 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Top 5: N.C. State, East Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Appalachian State