Prep Notebook: UNC commit Korrin Wiggins reopens recruitment
The Hillside High School football recruiting well, among the deepest in the state, is developing as many storylines as it is major college prospects this winter.
Senior defensive back Korrin Wiggins, who gave a verbal commitment to North Carolina on national signing day in February, remains “committed” to the Tar Heels — at least for now.
Wiggins, a standout safety with a 3-star ranking on the Scout.com 5-star scale, committed to the Tar Heels on the same day as Hillside running back Khris Francis. Francis graduated from Hillside in December and enrolled at UNC this week, but Wiggins is having second thoughts about his early decision and is now considering scholarship offers from a group of three programs — UNC, Clemson and Ohio State. He has many more offers than that, including all the Big Four ACC schools, South Carolina and Tennessee among others.
“He reopened his recruiting a while ago,” Hillside coach Antonio King said Thursday of Wiggins.
Wiggins is scheduled to visit Clemson soon. If Wiggins picks Ohio State, he’d be the second Hillside player in two years to play in Columbus. Linebacker Jamal Marcus, a 4-star prospect, played as a freshman for the Buckeyes this fall.
LATEST ON JOSH McNEIL SITUATION
Former Hillside tight end Josh McNeil, a 4-star prospect who played at a prep school in upstate New York this fall, has not received a ruling on potential academic eligibility problems from the NCAA.
McNeil scored the only touchdown in last Friday’s Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.. catching a six-yard scoring pass from Salt Lake City quarterback Cooper Bateman in the second quarter to lead Team Highlight to a 16-3 win over Team Nitro.
He originally committed verbally to East Carolina in the fall of 2011, decommitted later that season, and committed to national champion Alabama in July. He and Alabama parted ways recently as well and he said he’d like to play for LSU, but the NCAA’s examination of his Hillside graduation after going to summer school in 2012, put that on hold.
King, who attended the Under Armour all-star game and its related high school prospects combine Jan. 1-3, said McNeil is no longer focused on LSU and is wide-open on his college choice.
A LOOK AT OTHER HORNET PROSPECTS
King said Hillside senior receiver Austin Weeks has received a scholarship offer from Albany and will visit the school next weekend ... All-PAC-6 tight end Javien Knight — a player who beat out McNeil for all-PAC-6 honors in their one season playing together — is still considering offers from William & Mary, Furman, Western Carolina and Youngstown State, but reportedly is drawing a second look from major college programs including N.C. State and Tennessee.
TREVION THOMPSON AT UNDER ARMOUR COMBINE
At the Under Armour combine, Hillside junior wide receiver Trevion Thompson elected not to run the 40-yard dash because he plays basketball this time of year and had not been training for the event, according to King.
For the weights-and-measures conscious among us, he clocked in at 6-foot-2 1/4 and 181 pounds. According to King, Thompson performed extremely well in the competitive segments of the game, including one-on-one receiving drills.
Scout.com ranks Thompson as the No. 4 receiver in the class of 2014 and a 4-star prospect. He is a national recruiting target with Florida and Ohio State in the chase along with North Carolina, Clemson and N.C. State, among others.
Google Thompson’s name and you can find video of his Under Armour workouts online.
FROM THE GRASS TO THE HARDWOOD
While Wiggins, Thompson and Hillside sophomore offensive tackle Emanuel McGirt play effectively for the Hillside basketball team as well, it would be difficult to find a better two-sport group of athletes than those at Carrboro.
The state 2-AA football runners-up leaned heavily on all-star running back Trai Sharp and all-star wide receiver Marlin Johnson. And so does the 9-3, 5-0 Carolina 12 1-A/2-A Conference Carrboro basketball team.
Sharp and Johnson star for the Jaguars on the hard court. Sharp, a sophomore guard who plays some at the point, shows the same explosive quickness and change of direction that made him a 2,000-plus yard rusher in the fall. He can also shoot the 3.
Johnson, a 6-2 wing, is an outstanding leaper with standout quickness as well. Against East Chapel Hill, a PAC-6 4-A program, on Wednesday night, Sharp scored a game-high 18 points and Johnson added 12.
James Scott, a 6-5 junior linebacker/post player, also stood out for the Jags, along with quarterback/guard Alex McVeigh, a senior. McVeigh owns a nice 3-point touch. Ezavian Dunn, a 6-3, 275-pound junior tackle/post player, sees spot duty and adds muscle inside.
“I told (Jags coach John Alcox) ‘You’re gonna do great in 2-A,’” ECH coach Ray Hartsfield said after his team’s 65-63 overtime win at home over Carrboro Wednesday. Hartsfield was referring to the Jaguars’ state playoff chances.
ECH FOOTBALL COACH SEARCH ONGOING
Hartsfield, who doubles as ECH athletic director, is beginning interviews this week as he searches for a replacement for retired Wildcats football coach Bill Renner.
Jokingly told that former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, a Raleigh resident, is very much available, Chicago native Hartsfield laughed. “Forget that,” he said. “I’m hoping he goes to the Bears.”
The NFL Chicago Bears recently fired longtime coach Lovie Smith.