High School Sports

A big year for Triangle HS football recruits

Garner’s Nyheim Hines (2) is the 16th three- or four-star recruit to verbally commit to N.C. State from the class of 2015.
Garner’s Nyheim Hines (2) is the 16th three- or four-star recruit to verbally commit to N.C. State from the class of 2015. rwillett@newsobserver.com

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

All-Metro Players

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)

Player, school Scout.com Rivals.com 247 ESPN
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

Name, School Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Stars
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