Thursday, February 5, 2009

Where The Observer's Top 50 landed

Now that National Signing Day is past, exactly where did The Observer's Top 50 prospects--25 in North Carolina, 25 in South Carolina--land?

NC Top 25

North Carolina's Tar Heels dominated, claiming 11 members. That included four of the state's top five. Coach Butch Davis has reclaimed the state.

Not that it was easy; Duke, Wake Forest and N.C. State each grabbed a pair of Top 25 players. That's a good thing for the Blue Devils, who are having better luck with their in-state recruiting under coach David Cutcliffe. It's not so good for the Wolfpack, which normally collects a higher percentage of our group.

A total of 17 of the Top 25 members stayed home, and one, Shelby High's Larry Raper, has yet to sign. Clemson, as it has done for years, coaxed two players to head south, and South Carolina got one. Florida landed the most impressive kid, picking up No.2-ranked OT Xavier Nixon of Fayetteville Britt. Penn State, Miami and Virginia also got players.

SC Top 25

South Carolina was the big dog with this bunch, claiming eight members of the list, including two of the top five. Arch-rival Clemson had only five in-state players among its 12 signees, but all of them made The Observer's list. And Coastal Carolina kept one kid home. Which means 14 of 24 signees--one is still deliberating--remained in-state.

The out-of-state poachers included some big-name schools. The ACC's Virginia Tech and N.C. State got two Top 25ers, while Duke and Georgia Tech landed one each. Alabama, Tennessee, Michigan and LSU also picked up a player apiece.

In summary, Carolinas' schools did well in their own backyards. Counting kids they picked up from both Top 50 lists, UNC led with 11, followed by South Carolina (9), Clemson (7), N.C. State (4), Duke (3), Wake Forest (2) and Coastal Carolina (1). While East Carolina was shut out on this list, the Pirates did add seven members of the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team.