High School Sports

N&O All-Metro football team and final rankings

Wake Forest senior Garratt Brannock (42) and teammate Bryce Love (22) embrace after the Cougar's 23-17 victory over Garner in the east regional championship game on Friday, December 5, 2014 at Wake Forest High School in Wake Forest, N.C.
Wake Forest senior Garratt Brannock (42) and teammate Bryce Love (22) embrace after the Cougar's 23-17 victory over Garner in the east regional championship game on Friday, December 5, 2014 at Wake Forest High School in Wake Forest, N.C. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Runners Bryce Love of Wake Forest, Nyheim Hines of Garner and Johnny Frasier of Princeton lead the 2014 N&O high school football All-Metro team. Wake Forest ends year No. 1 in the area.

Bryce Love, Wake Forest, B, 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, Uncommitted

Love led Wake Forest to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA championship game by averaging 11.2 yards per carry. He rushed for 2,073 yards and 33 touchdowns, while leading the Cougars to a 15-0 start. He also caught 10 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns. Can run 40 yards in 4.3 seconds.

“Perhaps the great compliment Bryce has received is that a teammate said Bryce was his role model,” said Wake Forest coach Reggie Lucas. “If you look at Bryce on and off of the field, in the classroom and in the community, you find an exceptional person.

“He is a tremendous player who makes the players around him better. When Bryce has been 100 percent healthy, we have played well. He is a guy who can score any time he touches the ball.”

Nyheim Hines, Garner, B, 5-foot-9, 187 pounds, N.C. State

Hines set the Garner career rushing mark this year and piled up 2,362 yards on the ground with 38 touchdowns. Also caught 22 passes for 318 yards and another three touchdowns. He also passed for two touchdowns. Ranked as the No. 2 all-purpose running back in the country on the composite rankings and the No. 4 running back prospect by Rivals.com.

“Nyheim is one of the greatest that we have ever had,” said Garner coach Thurman Leach. “He is a phenomenal young man. He is Christian-hearted, a family-oriented young man who is a fantastic student.

“He understands that he has God-given abilities. He is gifted. But he works very hard to use those gifts. He is one of those players who you can’t replace. It was a pleasure to have him on our team.”

Johnny Frasier, Princeton, B, 5-foot-11, 220 pounds, Florida State

Frasier led the area in rushing per game with 162.2 yards per game and 10.8 yards per carry. He piled up 2,277 yards rushing and caught passes for another 226 yards. He helped Princeton to a 12-2 finish. Ranked as the No. 1 running back prospect in the country by 247Sports.com.

“Johnny has become a complete back,” said Princeton coach Derrick Minor. “Somebody may say he rushed for only 2,200 yards. First, that’s a lot. And it is an indication that Johnny put the team goals far ahead of his own.

“He has become a solid blocker. He catches passes. He completes his fakes. He does whatever he can to help the team win. That is much more important to him than how many yards he has or how many touchdowns he has scored.”

Marcus Marshall, Millbrook, B, 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, uncommitted

Marshall rushed for 2,151 yards during the Wildcats’ 11-3 season. He hit his stride late in the year, scoring the Wildcats’ final 14 touchdowns of the season. He also had 19 catches for 200 yards. Ranked among the top 100 running back prospects in the country by Scout.com.

“Marcus is a complete back,” said Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore. “He has great speed and power, is an effective blocker and can catch the ball. He has the ability to take over a game.”

Kendall Hinton, Southern Durham, QB, 6-foot, 180 pounds, Wake Forest University

Hinton led Southern to the 2013 3AA title and to wins in its first 13 games in 2014. He passed for 3,258 yards and 30 touchdowns and also rushed for 835 yards during a 13-1 season.

“Kendall Hinton is a fantastic human being,” said Southern coach Darius Robinson. “He is a true leader in the Durham youth community, classroom, athletics, and family. He has been a joy to coach and mentor.

“He will be considered a legend in the Durham community, not just for his athletic ability but for his academic and community leadership.”

Logan Tisch, Chapel Hill, L, 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, Clemson

Tisch helped Chapel Hill reach the NCHSAA 3AA semifinals. En route to the regional finals, Chapel Hill upset Southern Durham, 39-28.

“Logan Tisch is one of those four-year starters who plays both offense and defense extremely well, and he had a big impact on both sides of the ball,” said Chapel Hill coach Isaac Marsh. “His presence and his impact on the game is a big reason we were successful down the stretch.

“He has things you can’t coach. Logan has a will to excel and succeed. He listens and learns and works to get better all the time. You can’t coach that.”

Dexter Lawrence, Wake Forest, L, 6-foot-5, 312 pounds, Junior

Rivals.com has Lawrence ranked as the No. 2 defensive line prospect and the No. 9 overall prospect in the Class of 2016. He is big, strong and extremely quick for a man of his size.

“Every Division I coach who has come here and met Dexter has been impressed,” said Wake Forest coach Reggie Lucas. “He is extremely big and surprisingly quick for someone his size. He concentrates on his assignments and is still improving.”

Sterling Johnson, Cleveland, L, 6-foot-5, 281 pounds, Clemson

Johnson holds school records for tackles, tackles for loss, and blocked kicks for both a season and for his career. He had 93 tackles, 51 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and 8 blocked kicks.

“Most importantly, Sterling was a great team leader,” said Cleveland coach Scott Riley. “His play may be best illustrated by his being selected to play in the Under Armour All-American game.”

Emanuel McGirt, Hillside, L, 6-5, 263, N.C. State

Rivals.com lists the N.C. State recruit as a four-star prospect and as one of the top 30 offensive line prospects in the country. He helped the Hornets make a late-season run to finish a 9-5 season.

Chad Simmons, a Scout.com recruiting analysis, wrote, “When evaluating McGirt, he is one I like because each time I see him, he gets better. It is nice to see a prospect developing physically, improving fundamentally, and the more he competes, the more confidence I see.”

Ryan Callahan, Panther Creek, L, 6-2, 210, uncommitted

Callahan was one of the most versatile players in the area. He played defense and was a special teams star for the 11-3 Panthers. He made 157.5 tackles this season.

“Ryan is one of the hardest working kids I have ever had come through one of my programs,” said Catamounts coach Sean Crocker. “In the weight room, conditioning, practice, whatever we’re doing, Ryan is giving 100 percent. His hard work has shown up in his play.

“He is a solid citizen, goes out of his way to help teammates, on and off the field. Team captain, a high accountability individual. He may end up at a service academy or an Ivy League school. An excellent student with a 4.3 plus grade point average.”

James Smith-Williams, Millbrook, L, 6-4, 210, N.C. State

Smith-Williams led the Wildcats in most defensive categories and was a consistent force on the 11-3 club.

“He is a great athlete with a tremendous work ethic,” said Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore. “He has good speed, good size and he is continuing to get better. He works so hard. He is an outstanding leader for us.”

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