May 18, 2007

Big-time North Carolina ATH adding offers

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Thomasville (NC) athlete E.J. Abrams-Ward hovered with five solid offers for a while. That was until the last two weeks.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound standout recently doubled his total option list with a quintet of powerful tenders.

"Clemson, Georgia, Boston College, Virginia Tech and Tennessee all recently offered," Abrams-Ward told Tigerillustrated.com Thursday evening. "Things are picking up."

What does the Tar Heel State product think of each program?

Clemson - "Lately their football program has gotten stronger. Hopefully I'll get out there soon and check them out. I just got my offer from them about two weeks ago. They are a pretty good football team. (Tight ends) coach (Billy) Napier man, I like him. If I give him a call we'll chat a little bit and have some good conversations."

North Carolina - "They are rebuilding completely. Coach Butch Davis has coached in the league and is trying to get them to a bowl. They haven't been good the last couple of but are trying to turn it around."

North Carolina State - "No matter what happens if I go there I know I'll get a good education. They are strong in that regard. They are rebuilding too, but getting in some good recruits. Strong potential there and they could make some noise."

South Carolina - "That's a football school as well. I'm trying to learn more about them, but I know they have a great coach (Steve Spurrier) with a good track record."

Tennessee - "I've been there before. I love the way they practice. They have a lot of fun and all get along. (Defensive line) coach (Dan) Brooks told me about how great of a school it is. (Wide receivers) coach Trooper Taylor is hilarious. It's a football town."

East Carolina - "That program is on the up and up. They've gotten a lot better and went to a bowl game this year. Getting (my former teammate) Michael Byrd is a plus for them. They have a good tight end coming in."

Georgia - "The Bulldogs, now that's football right there all the way. I like the way they play."

Florida - "I don't have to say much about them. They just won a National Championship in football and basketball. It's a great school all-around whether it's football, basketball, soccer, baseball, you name it."

Boston College - "They want me as a quarterback. They have two quarterbacks now, a junior and a senior. They want me to come in and provide some competition at that position. They've recently produced some good defensive ends, too. They've had strong back-to-back seasons and have a good quarterback coming back."

Virginia Tech - "They had that incident a while ago and I'm going to see how they come back from that. They have a powerhouse defense. I like that."

Alabama and Wake Forest are the programs showing the strongest interest without offering yet.

He's been to Tennessee, North Carolina and North Carolina State already.

Also, a regular on the AAU circuit, the athlete plans to hopefully make some visits to South Carolina - when his team plays a tournament in Myrtle Beach - and to Florida when they are in the Orlando Showcase and Nationals.

East Carolina has offered for basketball, while Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth and Wake Forest are all showing interest.

"Most schools are saying that I can get a shot at playing both sports in college," Abrams-Ward noted. "Football is my main priority, but I hope to get some more offers in basketball through my AAU basketball performances."

Boston College is the lone school recruiting him to stay at his offensive prep position, while Tennessee sees him as a linebacker.

"Some schools think I'm a safety or an outside linebacker or even put on weight and play defensive end actually," he entailed. "I really couldn't say right now where I'd rather play. I don't have a top five and have no idea where which schools I'm going to visit this fall either. Everyone is recruiting me the same, too."

Abrams-Ward completed 29 of 47 passes for 596 yards and six touchdowns as a junior in Thomasville's (16-0) ground-driven offense that featured two-time state player of the year Quan Warley, a Western Carolina running back signee.

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