Signing Day: Hillside's Wiggins casts lot with Clemson
College athletic prospects are a diverse group.
Wednesday’s list of area high school stars who signed national letters of intent on national signing day are accompanied by other athletes who’ll be attending colleges and universities that don’t offer athletic scholarships or have agreed to attend their future sports homes as “preferred walk-ons.”
Topping the list of area signees Wednesday was Korrin Wiggins, the Hillside High School safety who verbally committed to North Carolina on national signing day 2012, but reopened his recruitment late last year.
Wiggins, a three-star recruit on a scale of zero to five stars and one of the top 20 senior prospects in North Carolina, chose Clemson Wednesday after eliminating Ohio State and North Carolina.
Wiggins picked Clemson because of the “comfort level” he enjoyed with Tigers coaches and players, Hillside coach Antonio King said. “Korrin’s a family-oriented type guy,” King said. “And that comfort level was one of the deciding factors for him.”
The area’s No. 1 recruit, former Hillside tight end Josh McNeil, a four-star prospect, committed verbally to East Carolina before switching to Alabama last summer and then attempting to move to LSU in December.
McNeil wound up enrolling at Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College in early January after questions arose about his academic qualifications.
The area’s other top recruit, former Hillside tailback Khris Francis, graduated in December and enrolled at North Carolina for the start of the spring semester.
Two other area players will be on Football Bowl Subdivision rosters next season — Chapel Hill’s Alex Duncan and Jordan’s John Brown III — who will both attent the U.S. Naval Academy.
Some athletes, including Southern High School offensive/defensive tackle Jalen Peterkin, did not sign Wednesday and remain undecided.
One of the more interesting signing stories Wednesday that was of Brandon Hunter of Chapel Hill who served as an assistant coach on Carrboro High School’s 2012 NCHSAA 2-AA state runner-up football team.
Hunter played at Carrboro through 2008 and as Mid-State 2-A Conference lineman of the year and a 2008 Shrine Bowl participant. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive lineman moved on to prep school at Hargrave Military Academy and Louisburg College but sat out the last two season for family reasons. He earned an associate’s degree at Alamance Community College while coaching at Carrboro.
Now he’s a member of the incoming Appalachian State football class and will be a junior in the fall with two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Roxboro Community School, a relatively new charter school, had a noteworthy signing Wednesday when volleyball player Molly Tatum signed on to play at Meredith College in Raleigh.
She’s the first scholarship athlete in RCS history, according to RSC athletic director Pete Tuck.
Looking ahead to next national signing day, the top prospect in the area appears to be Hillside junior wide receiver Trevion Thompson, a four-star recruit who’s attracting attention from almost all of the nation’s top programs. Like Thompson, Hillside junior running back Donte Thomas-Williams, a backup to Francis the last two years, is in the national mix with offers from Florida and Ohio State among many others including most Atlantic Coast Conference programs.
Following is a list of all known area high school athletes who signed letters of intent on Wednesday or who have announced the schools for whom they will be playing next season.
The list, by high school, includes athletes with offers who remain undecided, athletes who are “preferred walk-ons,” and athletes who have committed to schools that do not offer scholarships. Information was provided by the athletes’ coaches and athletic directors.
AREA SIGNINGS LIST
Katie Minogue, Appalachian State (field hockey)
Justin Morrell,Washington St. Louis (swimming)
Sam Strosnider, Denison University (swimming)
Peter Rathmell, Washington & Lee (basketball)
Kira Castle, Lynchburg (women’s lacrosse)
Macaire Castle, Lynchburg (women’s lacrosse)
Ethan Smith, North Carolina (track & field/pole vault)
Libby Florence, Appalachian State (track & field/high jump)
Alex Duncan, U.S. Naval Academy (football)
Alex Moiseenko, UNC Greensboro (women’s soccer)
Tristen van Ord, Appalachian St. (cross country/track)
T.J. Johnson, St. Augustine’s (football)
John Brown III, U.S. Naval Academy (football)
Gregory Hairston, undecided (football)
Shelby Hicks, Charlotte (women’s soccer)
Jordyn Smith, Howard (women’s basketball)
# Khris Francis, North Carolina (football)
Korrin Wiggins, Clemson (football)
# Josh McNeil, junior college (football)
* Dwight Campbell, N.C. State (football)
Cinco Simmons, Averett (football)
Dontavious Jackson, Shaw (football)
Javien Knight, William & Mary (football)
Shyheim Stephens, Averett (football)
Que Cherry, Elizabeth City (football)
Austin Weeks, Albany (football)
Robin Blazing, Duke (field hockey)
Owen Lucas III, Gardner Webb (football)
Myles Braswell-Sample, Lenoir Rhyne (football)
# Rodney Shepard, N.C. State (wrestling)
# Tyrone Outlaw Jr., UNC Greensboro (basketball)
Jessica Goodwin, Meredith (volleyball)
Liana Solomon, Peace (volleyball)
* Jeff Walker, UNC Charlotte (football)
# Isaiah Hicks, North Carolina (basketball)
Molly Tatum, Meredith (volleyball)
# Jenna Marie Davis, Catawba College (fast pitch softball)
# Taylor Leigh Boyd, Guilford College (fast pitch softball)
Kasey Logan Newcomb, undecided (fast pitch softball)
Megan Leigh Bowes, undecided (fast pitch softball)
# Graduated early, enrolled for spring semester.
* Preferred walk-on