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Give a Nugget
When you follow football as much as I do, you know it is a big deal to keep the local kids. Being a big admirer of the SEC, I know that each respective school makes it a point to “win their state” by preventing kids from going elsewhere. Although those battles are tough and can be lost simply by luring these young men into different scenarios. “You've been here your whole life” and “you'll never get to travel” are lines could be constantly used to turn these young men.
Charlotte has done a terrific job of keeping our Queen City talent right in our backyard. This year's roster consist of 20 Charlotteans and 23 from the surrounding area. We should take a lot of pride in this. Granted, I know the selling points:
1. They play locally so families can watch.
2. Be a part of history as the first Niner football team.
3. We are playing Division 1 (or FBS) in two years with a chance to go to a bowl, which is good for luring in transfers.
4. Our facilities are phenomenal.
5. We have a great coaching staff, especially our offense (take a look at West Virginia the last decade…we have their offensive coach).
6. Increased chance of playing time.
I get it, but is that enough? Some of these kids are being recruited by other big schools. Most of them were recruited by other schools in North Carolina, but it has been said that we compete mostly against the App State's and the ECU's. The difference is those schools have decades upon decades of rich football tradition. This is only our first step…and we are winning our city.
Corey Nesmith Jr – WR, Charlotte, NC (West Meck)
Austin Duke – WR, Charlotte, NC (Independence)
Prince Mayela – FS, Charlotte, NC (West Meck)
Terrance Winchester – CB, Charlotte, NC (Berry Academy)
Greg Cunningham Jr – DE, Charlotte, NC (West Charlotte)
Alex Petzke – SS, Charlotte, NC (Ardrey Kell)
Sam Dexter – FS, Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Christian)
Ardy Holmes – CB, Charlotte, NC (Marshall)
Jordan Abrams – FS, Charlotte, NC (Providence)
Tyler DeStafani – LB, Charlotte, NC (Newberry)
DaQuavius Reid – LB, Charlotte, NC (Berry Academy)
Keaston Sinicki – LS, Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Catholic)
Karrington King – DE, Charlotte, NC (Harding)
Robert Williams – LB, Charlotte, NC (Lenior-Rhyne)
Brandon Rodriguez – LB, Charlotte, NC (Berry Academy)
Joe Wolljung – OL, Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Catholic)
Tevin Lawshe – G, Charlotte, NC (Mallard Creek)
Kyle Hoffman – OT, Charlotte, NC (Berry Academy)
Reggie Woods – WR, Charlotte, NC (Ardrey Kell)
Zach Ferguson – WR, Charlotte, NC (Lenior-Rhyne)
Matt Johnson – QB, Newton, NC (Maiden)
Patrick O'Brien – QB, Mooresville, NC (UNC Pembroke)
Kalif Phillips – RB, Kannapolis, NC (A.L. Brown)
Cortezz Nixon – CB, Gastonia, NC (Lenior-Rhyne)
Quintin Gay – RB, Concord, NC (Lenior-Rhyne)
Damarrel Alexander – RB, Monroe, NC (UNC Pembroke)
Brandon Strupp – P, Denver, NC (Concord University)
Devin Pearson – CB, Rock Hill, SC (South Pointe)
Jarred Barr – G, Monroe, NC (Sun Valley)
Jordan Starnes – LB, Norwood, NC (South Stanly)
Mason Sledge – C, Monroe, NC (Monroe)
Daniel Book – OL, Harrisburg, NC (Hickory Ridge)
Stephen Muscarello – K, Indian Trail, NC (Porter Ridge)
Zach Bumgarner – OL, Hickory, NC (Saint Stephens)
Thomas La Bianca – G, Indian Trail, NC (Porter Ridge)
Jason Eury – H, Harrisburg, NC (Hickory Ridge)
Emmitt Afam – WR, Waxhaw, NC (Cuthbertson)
Darius Smalls – WR, Huntersville, NC (Hopewell)
Blake Brewer – K, Concord, NC (Cannon School)
EJ Rhinehart – WR, Concord, NC (Northwest Cabarrus)
Elijah Roberson – H, Mint Hill, NC (Rocky River)
Tanner Flemming – N, Hickory, NC (Air Force)|
Josh Tann – DE, Moorisville, NC (UNC Pembroke)
Check out the full Roster on ESPN (Yeah, I know…it's real):
#10 Austin Duke when playing for Independence H.S. in Charlotte, NC.
Photo cred: Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly
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