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February 6, 2002

2002 UNC Football Signees Announced

The University of North Carolina released its 2002 football national letter of intent signees on Wednesday. The following is a look at Carolina's 2002 recruiting class.

Alden BlizzardDE6-4 22560Laurel, MD
Melik BrownDE6-2 22523Camden, NJ
Lewis BurnhamTE6-5 23547Moorestown, NJ
Mahlon CareyATH6-2 19532Austell, GA
Whit EfirdOL6-5 31078Charlotte, NC
Daunte FieldsWR6-1 15561Wellington, FL
Ian FirestoneWR6-1 19136West Lawn, PA
Michael GilmoreDB6-1 17043Greenville, SC
Kendall HighDT6-6 26058West Rowan, NC
Cedric HoltDB6-0 18087Anson County, NC
Derrele MitchellWR6-3 19059Winston-Salem, NC
Brian RackleyDE6-6 23547Tallahassee, FL
Xavier RaineyDE6-4 24038Atlanta, GA
Kyle RalphOL6-5 2808Cincinnati, OH
Mickey RiceDT6-1 29064Union , SC
Tommy RichardsonDB6-4 20524North Miami Beach, FL
Rashaad TindallATH6-4 17589Wilmington, NC
D.J. WalkerRB6-0 17036Brevard, NC
Jacoby WatkinsDB6-1 17562Scotland County, NC
Chris WoodsOL6-5 275NRIrmo, SC
David WooldridgeK6-3 20034Davie County, NC
Victor WorsleyLB6-2 23038Tarboro, NC

Alden Blizzard
6-4, 225, Defensive End
Laurel, Md.
Laurel High School

Rated the No. 18 senior in Maryland by SuperPrep * Three-year starter * Had 72 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior * Played on the interior defensive line as a sophomore and junior, but was moved to defensive end as a senior * Had 80 tackles and nine sacks as a junior * Also played tight end * Cousin of current Tar Heel tight end Bobby Blizzard * Coached by Mike Rudden * Played basketball as a junior.

Melik Brown
6-2, 225, Linebacker
Camden, N.J.
Woodrow Wilson High School

Played both defensive end and center on offense * Helped lead Camden to a 12-0 record and its first ever sectional state championship * Selected all-conference and all-group as a junior * Made 57 tackles and had 10 sacks in his senior season * Had 45 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, three caused fumbles and two fumbles recovered as a junior * Had 16 pancake blocks and graded out over 90 percent on his blocks as a junior * All-Area as a senior * Coached by Michael McBride.

Lewis Burnham
6-5, 235, Tight End
Moorestown, N.J.
Moorestown High School

Played offensive tackles and tight end on offense and linebacker on defense * Helped lead Moorestown to an 11-1 season and the New Jersey Group 2 state championship as a junior * Rated the No. 27 prospect in New Jersey * His father, Lem, was a teammate of John Bunting*s with the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1970s * Burnham was a defensive end and Bunting was a linebacker for the Eagles * The elder Burnham works for the NFL as vice president of player and employee development * Coached by Frank Paris.

Mahlon Carey
6-2, 195, Running Back
Mableton, Ga.
South Cobb High School

Rushed for 1,615 yards and scored 24 touchdowns as a senior * Ranked among the Top 50 prospects in Georgia by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution * Ranked among the Super Southern 100 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution * Rated the No. 58 prospect in Georgia by SuperPrep * Made all-state as a kick returner * Played safety on defense and had 90 tackles and three interceptions * Returned four kicks for touchdowns * Started at forward for the basketball team and was the 4-A state champion in the 100 meters * Rushed for 1,505 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior * Coached by Shane McQueen * Also played basketball and ran track.

Whit Efird
6-5, 305, Offensive Line
Oakboro, N.C.
West Stanly High School

Three-year starter at right offensive tackle and saw some action at defensive tackle * Two-year all-conference and two-year all-county * Member of North Carolina*s Shrine Bowl team * Ranked among the top 20 players in North Carolina by the Raleigh News & Observer * Handled all kicking duties, including punting, kickoffs, extra points and field goals * Made five of seven field goals and 22 of 27 extra points in 2000 * Team was 7-3 and made the first round of the playoffs in junior season * Coached by Mark Little.

Daunte Fields
6-1, 160, Wide Receiver
Wellington, Fla.
Cardinal Newman High School

Had 41 catches for 844 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior * Returned two punts for scores and one kickoff for a touchdown * Intercepted four passes and recovered one fumble * Rated the No. 41 prospect in Florida by SuperPrep * Ranked among the Top 100 Florida prospects by the Orlando Sentinel * Attends the same high school as current Tar Heel basketball player Jackie Manuel * Coached by Sam Budnyk.

Ian Firestone
6-2, 190, Wide Receiver
Sinking Spring, Pa.
Wilson High School

High School All-America honors by SuperPrep, Rivals, Sporting News, Prepstar and Tom Lemming * Rated the nation*s No. 8 wide receiver by SuperPrep magazine and the No. 35 wide receiver by Rivals100.com * Four-year starter * Established school and county career records with 134 receptions for 1,907 yards * Scored 13 touchdowns * Earned all-state, all-county and all-league honors as a senior * Caught eight passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns in win over rival Manheim Township, breaking Wilson*s career receiving yardage record * Also played cornerback * Member of the all-state academic team * Coached by Jim Cantafio.

Michael Gilmore
6-1, 170, Wide Receiver
Greenville, S.C.
J.L. Mann High School

Two-year starter * Began his junior season as the starting quarterback, but moved to wide receiver during the middle of the season and became an all-region player in both seasons * Named all-state as a senior * Caught 20 passes for over 300 yards and six touchdowns as a senior * Also played defensive back and returned kicks * Returned two punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns as a senior * Had nine career interceptions, including four as a senior * Coached by Mickey Crocker * Member of the track team and was the state champion in the 400 meters as a junior * Attended the same high school as former Tar Heel standout and current UNC Assistant Athletic Director Rick Steinbacher.

Kendall High
6-6, 250, Defensive End
Salisbury, N.C.
West Rowan High School

Three-year starter at West Rowan * Team was 8-3 as a sophomore, 12-2 and conference champs as a junior and 6-5 as a senior * Had 86 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hurries, an interception for a touchdown and three blocked kicks (one for TD, one for safety) as a senior * Selected to play in the East-West All-Star game * North Piedmont Conference Player of the Year * All-county, all-conference as a senior * Played basketball as a sophomore and junior, but did not play as a senior to prepare for college football * Coached by Scott Young.

Cedrick Holt
6-1, 180, Defensive Back
Wadesboro, N.C.
Anson County High School

Only played in one game as a senior due to a groin injury, but was still named to the Shrine Bowl * Was a four-year starter * One of the Charlotte Observer*s Top 25 prospects in North Carolina * Rated the No. 37 prospect in North Carolina * Had an outstanding junior season starting at free safety * Made eight interceptions, broke up 19 passes and had 79 tackles * Scored five touchdowns as a wide receiver * Coached by Fred Davis.

Derrele Mitchell
6-4, 190, Wide Receiver
Winston-Salem, N.C.
Hargrave Military Academy
R.J. Reynolds High School

Played one year at Hargrave Military Academy in 2001 * Had 45 catches for 850 yards and eight touchdowns at Hargrave * Chosen for the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team as a senior at Reynolds * Caught 24 passes for 549 yards and scored eight touchdowns as a senior * Also rushed for 174 yards on 15 carries, an average of 11.6 yards per carry * Returned 15 kicks for 500 yards, an average of 33.3 yards per return * Had two kickoff returns for touchdowns * 92 and 95 yards * Accumulated 1,223 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns * All-conference as a junior and senior * All-area selection as a senior * In his high school career, caught 56 passes for 1,347 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed 25 times for 199 yards * Also had three interceptions * Coached by Alex Mebane at Reynolds and Lonnie Messick at Hargrave * Leading scorer on basketball team that won the 4-A state championship as a junior * Named the basketball West Regional MVP in the playoffs * Also competed in the long jump and placed in the conference meet.

Brian Rackley
6-4, 230, Defensive End
Tallahassee, Fla.
Lawton Chiles High School

Three-year starter on both the offensive and defensive lines * Had 105 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six sacks, eight pass deflections and four forced fumbles as a senior * All-Big Bend first-team selection at defensive end * Selected to play in the Georgia-Florida All-Star Game * Defensive captain of the Florida team * Coached by Mike Hickman.

Xavier Rainey
6-5, 230, Defensive End
Stone Mountain, Ga.
Southwest DeKalb High School

Had an outstanding senior season with 181 tackles, 52 tackles for losses, 13 sacks, caused five fumbles and recovered four fumbles * Honorable-mention all-state in Class 5-A * Rated the No. 23 prospect in Georgia by SuperPrep * Coached by Buck Godfrey.

Kyle Ralph
6-4, 280, Offensive Line
Cincinnati, Ohio
St. Xavier High School

Ranked among the top 25 offensive linemen in the country by several analysts * Three-year starter who played at center as a sophomore, guard as a junior and left tackle as a senior * Ranked as the No. 44 senior in the Midwest (six-state area) by SuperPrep * All-state and all-county as a senior * Played in Ohio*s North-South All-Star Game * Invited to play in the Big 33 Game, matching Ohio*s all-stars vs. Pennsylvania*s all-stars * Helped lead St. Xavier to a 13-1 record as a senior and a berth in the state championship game * Team was runnerup in Ohio*s Division I, the state*s biggest schools * Will not turn 18 until next September * Started six games as a 14-year-old sophomore * Coached by Steve Rasso.

Mickey Rice
6-2, 265, Defensive Line
Union, S.C.
Union High School

Helped lead Union High School to a 40-5 record in three years as a starter on the defensive line, including the 3-A state championship as a sophomore and junior and state runner-up as a senior * Had 96 tackles, 18 tackles for losses, six sacks and 20 quarterback pressures as a senior * Caused four fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and intercepted one pass for a touchdown * Had two sacks in the Shrine Bowl * Member of the Charlotte Observer*s top 25 prospects in the South Carolina * Named one of South Carolina*s Elite 11 prospects * Named all-state as a senior and all-region for three years * All-Spartanburg area as a junior and senior * Had 84 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six sacks, six caused fumbles, two recovered fumbles and 18 pressures as a junior * Had over 150 career tackles * Member of the Beta Club * Coached by Mike Anthony.

Tommy Richardson
6-3, 205, Defensive Back
Miami, Fla.
North Miami Beach High School

Three-year starter at defensive back and wide receiver * North Miami Beach had its best three years ever while he was on the team, including an 8-2 record as a senior * Team captain as a junior and senior * Made 76 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions and one fumble recovery as a senior defensive back * Had 23 receptions for 487 yards and three touchdowns as a wide receiver * Also blocked four field goals * Rated the No. 51 prospect in Florida by SuperPrep * Had 143 career tackles, 52 assists, five interceptions, six sacks and 28 tackles for loss * Second-team all-state as a senior * Ranked among the Top 100 prospects in Florida by the Orlando Sentinel * All-county as a senior * Student Body President * Coached by Jeff Bertani * Also plays basketball.

Rashaad Tindall
6-4, 195, Defensive Back
Wilmington, N.C.
Laney High School

Played safety and wide receiver * Helped lead Laney High School to an 15-1 record and a berth in the 4-A state championship game * Team was the state 4-A runner-up * Had 50 tackles, 10 tackles for losses and two interceptions on defense as a senior * Had 15 catches for 300 yards and eight touchdowns * Did not play football until his junior season, instead concentrating on basketball * Rated the No. 30 prospect in North Carolina by SuperPrep * Coached by Craig Pendergraft * Was the basketball team*s MVP as a junior * Averaged 20 points and 14 rebounds that season.

D.J. Walker
6-1, 170, Running Back
Pisgah Forest, N.C.
Brevard High School

Played only two years of prep football * Rated the No. 25 prospect in North Carolina by SuperPrep * Had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons * Carried 168 times for 1,140 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior despite a knee injury that caused him to miss two games and limited his action in others * Rushed 255 times for 1,946 yards as a junior * Had 2,246 total yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior * Made 45 tackles and had three interceptions as a junior and did not play on defense as a senior * Two-time all-conference and all-area selection * Helped lead Brevard to a 10-3 record as a junior and a 10-2 record as a senior * Had 423 career carries for 3,086 yards and scored 37 touchdowns * Finished his high school career with 3,506 total yards of offense * Coached by Dan Essenberg * Also participated in track and basketball.

Jacoby Watkins
6-1, 190, Cornerback
Laurinburg, N.C.
Scotland High School

Played on North Carolina*s Shrine Bowl team and had an outstanding showing * Rated the No. 31 prospect in North Carolina by SuperPrep * One of the Charlotte Observer*s Top 25 players in North Carolina * Made 68 tackles and had three interceptions as a senior * Returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns * Was a high school teammate of current Tar Heel Willie McNeill * Also competed in track * Coached by Mark Barnes.

Chris Woods
6-5, 280, Offensive Line
Columbia, S.C.
Irmo High School

Two-year starter at left offensive tackle * Played in the North-South South Carolina All-Star Game * All-area, all-region and all-state as a senior * Paved the way for two 1,000-yard tailbacks as a senior * Team was regional champs and advanced to the first round of the South Carolina 4-A state playoffs * Also wrestles in the heavyweight classification * Has a 31-inch vertical leap * Coached by Bob Hanna.

David Wooldridge
6-3, 185, Place-kicker/Punter
Advance, N.C.
Davie High School

Made all-state as a punter and a place-kicker as a senior * All-Northwest Region and all-conference selection as a junior and senior * Made 28 of 34 career field goals and 58 of 61 career point after attempts * Averaged 44.5 yards per punt, made 12 of 17 field goals and 37 of 39 extra points as a senior * Did not miss a field goal (12 for 12) under 45 yards as a senior * Was a perfect 10 of 10 in field goal attempts as a junior * Longest field goal was a 49-yarder as a junior * Also booted a 45-yarder as a senior * Team was 9-2 and tied for the conference championship as a senior * Coached by Doug Illing.

Victor Worsley
6-2, 220, Linebacker
Battleboro, N.C.
North Edgecombe High School

Rated the 10th-best senior and No. 2 linebacker in North Carolina by SuperPrep * Named to the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team * Four-year starter at linebacker * Also played fullback * Had 140 tackles as a senior and 495 tackles in his high school career * Averaged 16 tackles per game as a senior * One of the Charlotte Observer*s Top 25 prospects in North Carolina * Made 25 tackles for loss for 88 yards * Rushed 125 times for 886 yards and 22 touchdowns * Three-time all-conference and all-area performer * Named the Area Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior * Two-time all-state at linebacker * Team advanced to the playoffs every year, including an appearance in the state championship game his freshman season * Coached by Raymond Cobb * Played basketball for three years.


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