High-SchoolNorth-Carolina: Keith Marshall

Elite RB Keith Marshall wins Watkins Award

February, 20, 2012
Former Millbrook (Raleigh, N.C.) star running back Keith Marshall, who enrolled at the University of Georgia in January, received one more high school honor this weekend when he was announced as the winner of the prestigious Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award. The annual honor is given to the nation's top African-American male high school scholar athlete.

Rated the nation's No. 2 running back in the ESPNU 150, Marshall enjoyed a terrific senior season on the field, rushing for 1,891 yards and 25 touchdowns on 258 carries to earn Gatorade State Player of the Year honors and a spot on the ESPNHS All-American second team.

Marshall also excelled off the field in high school, earning a 4.3 GPA in the classroom while serving as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and at a homeless shelter.

Marshall earned the award over fellow standout seniors Jameis Winston of Hueytown (Ala.), Zach Banner of Lakes (Lakewood, Wash.), Alex Carter of Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.), Jonathan Curry of Central (Phenix City, Ala.) and Deion Williams of Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.).
ToddGurleyTom Hauck/ESPNHSTodd Gurley, a senior tailback at Tarboro (N.C.), will announce his college decision on Friday. His top four schools are Clemson, Georgia, NC State and UNC.
Todd Gurley, a senior at Tarboro (N.C.), is one of the top-rated running backs in the nation, possessing the ability to play multiple positions. As a highly sought-after recruit with offers from the likes of Auburn, UNC, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Clemson and NC State, Gurley agreed to chronicle his senior season and recruiting experience leading up to his decision through a diary with ESPNHS.

What's up World!

This Friday the 13th at 2 p.m. is when I will be announcing the school that I'll be taking my talents to next year. On this blog, I will be writing about my top four schools.

The first school I'd like to talk about is UNC. Now, UNC was one of the first schools I had at the top of my list from day one, just to be able to visit them so many times helped me get a feel for the college, and actually at one point of time I thought that was gonna be the place for me for the next four years. But when all the NCAA investigation stuff happened, I kind of fell back to see how everything was gonna work out. I still always kept them on my list, though.

With NC State, if you don't know, one of my bros committed there in K'hadree Hooker (Follow him on Twitter @bighook74) and I also got cool with a lot of other recruits during this process who had committed there. So I knew I would have NC State on my list the whole time. Plus, it's close to home, so all of my family and friends could come see play. Also, being there multiple times on campus to basketball games, the spring game and the football game vs. Maryland — the atmosphere was crazy!

My next top school is UGA, which is a school I visited three times and I see why people say it's a great school. First of all, the food is the best and that's my favorite thing about the school. My bro Keith Marshall goes there now and that would be good to have two NC boys in the backfield representing for our state. Plus, the relationship I developed over time with (running backs) coach Bryan McClendon and coach Richt has been great. Two great coaches running a great program.

My last school is the Clemson Tigers, a school I always wanted to play for after watching C.J. Spiller run there and break records. That was something I dreamed about and now that I have the opportunity to go there, it's just crazy to have my dreams come true. My Clemson visit was the best out of all the schools I visited because the time I had with the players was so much better then every other school, so that's a plus in my book. Even though they offered me late and stopped recruiting for a while, I didn't really care about that because that's just the business of it, so it didn't affect me too much.

I'd like to thank God first for blessing me with this opportunity, my coaches, friends, family, and my town of Tarboro. And a special shoutout to my bros who have been with me through this recruiting process — K'hadree Hooker, Keith Marshall, and Ronald Darby

That's it for now. Thanks for reading all my blogs, follow me on Twitter for more updates @TG1UNO and stay tuned Friday at 2 p.m. for the big announcement!

Top 10 Stories of the Year in North Carolina

December, 29, 2011
The year 2011 is winding down to a close and what a year it's been in sports. Here are the top 10 stories from the North Carolina high school sports scene:

10. Tragedy Strikes Twice
Unfortunately, sports is sometimes not about victory and triumph but loss and tragedy. So was the case in August, when Williams High QB Harry Cohen died from an accidental overdose just days after leading his team to victory, and in December, when Alleghany wrestler Luke Hampton was paralyzed during a match just days after earning the state's top ranking in Class 1A at 182 pounds. Our prayers go out to both families.

9. Stuntin' Like My Daddy
You could say it's in the genes and then some when it comes to Dillon Maples. A year after breaking his father's school record of 17 strikeouts by one, the Pinecrest senior tied his own mark with 18 Ks. Maples finished the year with a 9-1 record, 143 strikeouts and a 0.92 ERA. Similiar to his father, Tim, who was picked by the Orioles, the Cubs selected Dillon in the 14th round of the MLB Draft. Maples initially enrolled at UNC, but in August, he agreed to a deal with the Cubs that included a $2.5 million signing bonus.

8. Cardinal Rule
Cardinal Gibbons dethroned two-time defending Class 3A champ Chapel Hill this past fall by the smallest of margins — one point. The Crusaders placed five runners in the top 20, including individual champion Steven Phillips, who clocked a time of 15:49.

7. Last Hope
Midway through the season, Green Hope soccer coach Andrew Chadwick surprised his team by announcing he would retire at the end of the year. The Falcons made sure their coach ended on a good note by winning the Class 4A title in a 2-1 overtime thriller against Myers Park.

6. West is the Best
In 2010, West Charlotte blew a lead and lost in the state semifinals. They made sure the same didn’t happen last year, breezing through the state tourney before letting the one they call Big Baby take over in the title game. Kennedy Meeks recorded 12 points, nine blocks and 19 rebounds (the fourth most in championship game history) to earn MVP honors.

5. New Faces Reach New Places
This past football season saw some unusual suspects claim state crowns. Scotland won its first ever state title by going 15-0 en route to the Class 4A crown and Havelock dethroned three-time defending Class 3A champ West Rowan.

4. Golden Graham
Thomas Graham painted the picture of dominance during his prep career, winning four straight NCISSA 3A state cross country championships. Graham also held his own on the national scene by copping ninth at the Foot Locker Nationals and 15th in the final DyeStat rankings.

3. A Page Out of History
Despite entering the postseason undefeated and as a top seed, Greensboro Page had quite the tough road to the Class 4AA title. That didn't faze the Pirates, who knocked off two-time defending champ Butler and season-long favorite Mallard Creek in consecutive weeks before beating Garner in the 4AA championship.

2. Purvis Picks 'Pack
Earlier this year, Rodney Purvis was headed to Louisville, which rested in the same Blue Grass State that another top NC recruit by the name of John Wall played his college ball. But an assistant coaching shake-up led Purvis to decommit in May. After months of thinking, the Upper Room Christian senior guard decided to stay in his backyard and play for N.C. State.

1. Top Dog
On Dec. 6, Keith Marshall went to sleep a Clemson Tiger but woke up a Georgia Bulldog. After narrowing his choices, the speedy Millbrook tailback and the nation's sixth-best recruit decided on his childhood favorite team of Georgia, where he plans to enroll in January.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter@brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Humphries, Marshall named ESPNHS All-Americans

December, 22, 2011
Before they do battle as rivals in the SEC next year, Millbrook's Keith Marshall and Mallard Creek's D.J. Humphries were joined together on the same team.

The ESPNHS All-American team features Humphries, a Florida commit, on the first squad along with Northwest Carrabus punter Bradley Pinion and Marshall, a Georgia recruit, on the second team.

Click here for the full list of players.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

The Five Days of List-Mas: NC's A-List

December, 12, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: A-Listers.

In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But who are the A-Listers in North Carolina? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state. Can you think of an A-Lister we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

5. Thomas Graham (SR), Cary Academy, Cross Country
Credentials: Four-time NCISSAA 3A state champ, ninth at Foot Locker Nationals, No. 20 in DyeStat rankings

4. Braxton Ogbueze (SR), United Faith Christian, Basketball
Credentials: Florida recruit, nation's No. 35 player in ESPNU 100

3. Todd Gurley (SR), Tarboro, Football
Credentials: State's No. 2 running back, led Vikings to three straight Class 2A titles, Semper Fidelis All-American

2. Rodney Purvis (SR), Upper Room Christian, Basketball
Credentials: Nation's No. 16 player in ESPNU 100, N.C. State recruit, 2011 Elite 24 participant, friends with Washington Wizards star John Wall

1. Keith Marshall (SR), Millbrook, Football
Credentials: Georgia recruit, Nation's No. 6 player in ESPNU 150, 2011 Gatorade State Player of the Year, Under Armour All-American, school's all-time leading rusher

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter@brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Keith Marshall chooses Georgia

December, 6, 2011
The state's top running back and No. 6 overall recruit is headed to the SEC to play for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Millbrook senior Keith Marshall announced his decision Tuesday during a school press conference, pulling on a red Georgia hat while those gathered in the auditorium loudly cheered. Marshall, who plans to enroll in January, also considered Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame and South Carolina. The senior recently won North Carolina Gatorade Football Player of the Year after rushing for 1,891 yards and 25 scores this past season.

Click here for more on Marshall's commitment.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Millbrook's Keith Marshall wins Gatorade POY

December, 1, 2011
Millbrook running back Keith Marshall has been named Gatorade North Carolina Football Player of the Year.

As a senior, Marshall racked up 1,891 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns to go with a 4.29 weighted GPA in the classroom. The 2012 Under Armour All-America selection is expected to announce his college decision on Dec. 6.

For the breakdown of Marshall's award, click here.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Stock is rising for Marshall, Stadnik

October, 6, 2011
It's that time of week for the North Carolina All-State football stock watch. This time around, we'll highlight some big names who now have another jersey to hang in their closet.

UP — Keith Marshall, Millbrook RB
As expected, Marshall bounced back from an abnormal two weeks (43- and 65-yard outputs against Northern Durham and Broughton, respectively) and told me he feels back to 100 percent after battling tendonitis in his knees earlier this year. The senior ran for a season-high 259 yards and five touchdowns in a win against Sanderson. "The field was soggy, so I could cut back easier and not feel it, pain wise," he said. Millbrook's career rushing leader (3,625 yards and counting) also received his jersey for the Under Armour All-America Game last week in a small school ceremony. The Wildcats will need more big games from Marshall with tough games coming up against Leesville Road and Wake Forest-Rolesville.

DOWN — Steve Houston/Tyrone Crowder, Richmond RB/OL
Richmond went down for the first time season and the first time ever to Hoke County last week, which was quite shocking considering the Raiders' prior success. The offense proved stagnant, getting off just 14 plays in the first half and 27 plays in the second half. Houston had a solid game with 80 yards and a score, but two lost fumbles inside the the 10 and two crucial holding penalties on the game's final possession, the Raiders' offense as a whole has some regrouping today before facing Purnell Swett this week.

UP — Brock Stadnik, Western Guilford OL
It's not often that offensive lineman get some love, so it's nice when I can get the chance to honor the big fellas. Like Marshall, Stadnik received his Under Armour All-America Game jersey last week. The four-year starter has been one of the few bright spots this season for the 2-3 Hornets, but there's no doubt his future is bright at South Carolina and, perhaps, beyond.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Ferguson, Beecher reach elite level on gridiron

September, 21, 2011
Quarterbacks rule in this week's edition of the North Carolina All-State Football stock watch, as one signal-caller has entered the national discussion for player of the year while the other gunslinger keeps putting up huge numbers through the air. Scary thing is, both are only juniors.

UP — Riley Ferguson, Butler QB
Ferguson told me his team's season-opening loss was his worst game ever and ever since then, he's been driven to redeem himself. Let's just say he's done a pretty good job. In not even a full four quarters, Ferguson threw for 265 yards and five touchdowns. Then to top things off, the junior caught his first touchdown pass in the Bulldogs' 77-14 win against Myers Park. On the season, Ferguson now has 1,148 passing yards and 17 total touchdowns, earning him consideration for the ESPNHS Mr. Football USA award.

DOWN — Keith Marshall, Millbrook RB
It's been a rough past two weeks for our ESPNHS September cover boy, as defenses continue to key in on Marshall. And what else would you expect when playing against the nation's top running back? In each of his last two games, Marshall has failed to reach 100 yards rushing, and last week, he was outgained 116 to 43 by Broughton standout senior RB Chris Mangus. Marshall's track record has earned him such attention, and with his gamebreaking speed, it won't be long before he's back to his old ways of piling up yards and touchdowns.

UP — B.J. Beecher, Concord QB
This junior has put up big numbers all season, so last week's output was no surprise. Beecher completed 16 of his 22 throws for 253 yards and three scores in the Spiders' fourth win of the season. With that effort, Beecher pushed his season totals to 1,218 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Week 5 NC Football: Hillside, Southern battle for Durham supremacy

September, 16, 2011
We're five weeks into the football season, which is around the time the contenders begin to separate from the pretenders. Here's what to watch out for this weekend:

Hillside (3-1) at Southern Durham (2-2)
Southern Durham is desperately in need of a win after dropping two straight games, and as a result, out of the top 10. On the other hand, Hillside has played well since falling in its opener. The defending 4A champs have been led by running back Khris Francis on offense and All-State DL Jamal Marcus on defense, making for a balanced attack. Most of Marcus' focus tonight will be on Southern Durham QB Dorian Belcher. who has played well despite the Spartans' struggles. In last week's overtime loss to Dunbar, Belcher finished with 224 yards and three touchdowns. Southern will put up a fight, but it won't be enough to take down a surging Hornets squad.
My pick: Hillside 24, Southern Durham 21

Nash Central (4-0) at New Bern (3-1) Ever since defeating two-time defending 2A state champ Tarboro to start the season, Nash Central has been on a tear. Credit quarterback Jalen Hendricks, who has excelled as a dual threat with 658 total yards, six touchdowns and zero turnovers. New Bern's offense has been just as electric of late. After giving up 51 points in a loss to Havelock, the Bears have put up 114 points (!) in their last two games. Though I doubt they'll put points at the same ridiculous rate, expect the 4A Bears to extend their win streak against the 3A Bulldogs.
My pick: New Bern 30, Nash Central 24

Millbrook (3-1) at Broughton (1-2)
Millbrook should have the advantage in this contest, but the main intrigue comes at the tailback position. Of course, Millbrook boasts the nation's top running back in Keith Marshall, our cover boy for the ESPNHS September mag. Meanwhile, Broughton is led by recent Va. Tech commit Chris Mangus, who had 251 rushing yards and three scores in leading the Capitals to their first win of the season.
My pick: Millbrook 24, Broughton 17 (Oh, and I've got Marshall winning the yardage battle against Mangus)

Myers Park (3-1) at No. 2 Butler (3-1)
Who would have thought these two teams would have the same record when they met up? Myers Park is off to its best start since 2005, when it ended up reaching the state semifinals, but Butler is...well, Butler. Minus a few lapses, the Bulldogs have looked like their scary selves since losing to No. 1 Mallard Creek. Expect the four-headed offensive monster of QB Riley Ferguson, RB Josh Glisson and WRs Uriah LeMay and Zach Ferguson to keep chugging along.
My pick: Butler 40, Myers Park 21

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.
Todd Gurley, a senior at Tarboro, is one of the top-rated running backs in the nation, possessing the ability to play multiple positions. As a highly sought-after recruit with offers from the likes of Auburn, UNC, Georgia, Virginia Tech and Clemson, Gurley agreed to chronicle his senior season and recruiting experience through a weekly diary with ESPNHS.

What’s up, world! It’s your boy, Todd Gurley

This past week, we had to face Hurricane Irene, which destroyed the town and school pretty bad in Tarboro. The power was out for a couple days and most people didn’t get it back on until Tuesday. But other than that, we’re just blessed to be alive.

This past weekend I took an unofficial visit to UNC with my boys Ryan, Jacob, and Deshan to see them Tar Heels play against James Madison. It was my first UNC football game and second college football game ever. The atmosphere was pretty good, which I expected it to be. I've gone to a UNC basketball game before and it was similar. But if there's one thing you don't know about me, I'm a huge Duke basketball fan. That will always remain the same, no matter which college I go to.

I'm just ready to get the season started again on Friday against one of our county rivals, North Edgecombe. We were supposed to play last Friday, but due to the conditions of my school, the game was canceled and rescheduled for Sept. 23. Me and my teammates are just hungry to get back on the field Friday and show what we've been working for all summer.

I will be taking my first official visit this weekend to Georgia with my parents. We’re looking forward to getting down to Athens and watching them Dawgs bounce back from the loss against Boise State and hopefully get a win versus South Carolina. Also my boy, Keith Marshall [a star running back at Millbrook] will be taking an official visit down in Athens that same weekend.

I’m going to set up a few more visits soon and I’ll be talking about them here on my blog, so stay tuned for that. I know for a fact that I’ll be taking official visits to Virginia Tech and Auburn.

As far as recruiting, I’m just enjoying the whole process. You only go through it once, so I’m making the best of it. Right now, though, I’m just really focusing on my senior season and trying to win our third state championship.

I'd like to take this opportunity to shout out [Tarboro assistant] coach Cox, who had hip surgery last week. Please keep him in your prayers to get well soon so he can get back on the field with us this season.

OK, peace out world. I'm about to get my head in these books. Once again, I appreciate everyone reading this. Go Vikings!

My top six schools (in order): UNC, Georgia, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Auburn, Clemson

Middle Creek wins a thriller, Charlotte games on hold

September, 6, 2011
Mother Nature has shown its ugly side in the past two weeks. First, it was a rare earthquake followed by Hurricane Irene. And last weekend, torrential thunderstorms pounded down on the Charlotte area, postponing all of the football games until Tuesday.

As a result, our statewide rankings will come out Wednesday this week. But that doesn't mean good football wasn't play in other parts of North Carolina, starting with a thriller between Middle Creek and Fuquay-Varina.

By the look of things, Middle Creek wasn't supposed to win Friday's matchup against Fuquay-Varina. The Mustangs had often finished second to their Tri-Nine Conference rivals on several occasions, and in the fourth quarter of their Friday matchup, Fuquay-Varina held what seemed to be a commanding 34-21 advantage.

But Middle Creek showed why it could a formidable force this season, using a flurry of offense and a goal-line stand to pull out a 48-47 double-overtime win.

Quarterback David Salmon (four touchdowns) oozed with poise in the Mustangs' comeback, leading his team on two scoring drives in the final four minutes -- the last of which ended with a touchdown pass to Curtis Burston that tied the score at 34.

In overtime, fate appeared on the Bengals' side, as the road team used a hook-and-lateral play to convert a fourth down into a touchdown on the opening overtime possession. The teams then traded scores until the second overtime, when Bengals fullback Carlton Bridges was stuffed on a two-point conversion try, giving the Mustangs a huge win in their conference opener.

*Jack Britt bounced back from a Week 2 loss in a major way, beating Southern Durham, 42-28. The Buccaneers were led by QB Mark McRae (three total touchdowns) and Lindon Watkins (222 rushing yards and one score). Southern Durham put up a fight behind Akeem Judd's 203 rushing yards and three scores, but it wasn't enough to overcome a quick start by the Buccaneers, who jumped out to a 28-7 lead in the first half.

*Millbrook continued its recent success, riding its defense to a 26-9 win against East Wake team that upset Wake Forest-Rolesville in week two. Keith Marshall had 157 yards and a touchdown for the Wildcats before sitting out for most of the second half.

*Damien Washington continued his tear, scoring twice on a touchdown pass and catch in A.L. Brown's 35-14 win against Rocky River. That's eight touchdowns through three games for the senior tailback, who gives the Wonders an ability to score in a hurry.

*West Rowan saw another win streak end after their Friday contest against Salisbury. But this time, it wasn't the Falcons who were on the short end. Behind Dinkin Miller's 132 rushing yards and touchdown, the Falcons beat the defending 2AA champs, 37-28, snapping the Hornets' 12-game win streak.

*Wallace Rose-Hill saw its 30-game string of wins snapped Friday in a 48-7 loss to New Hanover. The defeat is nothing for the defending 1A champs to hang their head over, though. New Hanover, which was led by 336 passing yards from QB Bates Taylor, is a 4A school.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

The place to be: Week 3 North Carolina football

September, 2, 2011
Believe it or not, the third week of prep football has already rolled around for North Carolina, and if the first two weeks are any indication, this should be a good one. Here's where you need to be this weekend:

No. 1 Mallard Creek (2-0) at No. 10 Berry Academy (2-0)
OK, I'll admit it; I've written about Mallard Creek a lot in this space. Don't blame me, though; blame coach Mike Palmieri, who set up a tough yet intriguing early schedule for his Mavericks. After passing tests against Butler and Sun Valley, the state's top-ranked squad will travel to Berry Academy, where the dynamic duo of wideout Germone Hopper (280 all-purpose yards and two scores in Week 1) and linebacker Nick Dawson (also scored twice in Week 1).
The Mavericks offense has proven masterful, led by the four-headed monster of QB Andrew Goodman, RB Jela Duncan, WR Jamel Harbison and OL D.J. Humphries, putting the pressure on the Cardinals' defense to take control.

No. 6 Southern Durham (2-0) at No. 7 Jack Britt (1-1)
The Fayetteville region will gets its first big matchup when two of our top 10 teams face off. The game is a must-win for Jack Britt, which is looking to bounce back after a close loss to Lumberton and with another big contest against No. 5 Scotland next week. Southern Durham has looked good in its first two games, as dual-threat quarterback Dorian Belcher has shown off his array of skills.

Fuquay-Varina (2-0) at Middle Creek (1-1)
Fuquay Varina stands a chance to enter the conversation of top teams in the state, should it continue its hot start. Ricky Ferguson has been dominant, averaging nearly 105 rushing yards per contest for the Bengals, who slipped past Middle Creek in last year's matchup. The Mustangs are no slouches, either, with their only loss coming to No. 6 Southern Durham last week.

East Wake (2-0) at Millbrook (1-1)
This contest is filled with future implications. For East Wake, the goal is to prove last week's 20-17 overtime win against then-No. 6 Wake Forest-Rolesville was no fluke. For Millbrook, the hope is to build on last week's victory as well as see how it can keep building around the nation's top tailback Keith Marshall, who has rushed for 244 yards and a touchdown this year.

Mooresville (2-0) at Burns (2-0)
One team will taste its first defeat by night's end, but neither will go down easy. Mooresville has impressed with wins against South Meck and previously ranked West Rowan, while Darius Ramsey has run wild for Burns to create its own fast start.

Shelby (0-2) at Crest (1-1)
It's rivalry week for these two schools, which are separated by just four miles. The pressure is on Shelby in this contest, as the Golden Lions look to avoid an 0-3 start in a tough road environment at Crest.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Jack Britt, WF-Rolesville hit with upset bug

August, 29, 2011
After watching another weekend of upsets on the gridiron, I teetered between two feelings:

-I know nothing when it comes to preseason rankings.
-If this keeps happening, will an "upset" as we know it still be an "upset" on the North Carolina football scene?

Eventually, I settled on the first notion.

Of course, it's early, so there's no need for teams to panic. But for perennial powers like Jack Britt (lost 21-14 to Lumberton in overtime) and Wake Forest-Rolesville (lost 20-17 in OT) who joined Butler, West Rowan and Hillside on the upset list, a wake-up call has been served.

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Todd Gurley, a senior at Tarboro, is one of the top-rated running backs in the nation, possessing the ability to play multiple positions. As a highly sought-after recruit with offers from the likes of Auburn, UNC, Georgia, Virginia Tech and Clemson, Gurley agreed to chronicle his senior season and recruiting experience through a weekly diary with ESPNHS.
Note: Starting Sept. 5, Gurley's entries will run every Monday

What's up, everyone? It's your boy Todd Gurley, but whenever you see me, you can call me TG. I play football for Tarboro High School, the two-time defending Class 2A state champions and home of legends Kelvin Bryant and Shaun Draughn. Both played running back at UNC.

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