Football Recruiting Talk

IC's Andrew Jones talks with Caree and Batten about Rashaad Tindall and Ian Firestone, two Tar Heel football verbal commitments...

Last week, Inside Carolina writer Andrew Jones had the chance to interview two men on his nightly radio show on WAAV-AM980 in Wilmington about a couple of North Carolina football commitments. Jones spoke with respected recruiting expert Sammy batten of the Fayetteville Observer and to Chuck Caree, who has covered prep sports for the Wilmington Star-News for 23 years.

Here is the transcript of what both well-respected journalists had to say about Rashaad Tindall of Wilmington Laney and Ian Firestone of West Lawn, Pa.

Chuck Caree

AJ – What can you tell us about Rashaad Tindall who plays at Laney and committed on Monday to play his college football at UNC?

CC – Okay. He's about 6-3 and about 180 pounds. He's a tremendous athlete. I think he'll probably be a defensive player in college. He's a kid that if you meet him you can tell he's a really tough kid. He's a rock solid tough guy. And if I had a team, I'd definitely want him on my team especially in high school. He pretty much is symbolic of the Laney team. He will hit you and he will hit you hard. I mean as they say he will smack you in the mouth.

AJ – Like a lot of kids that have played there (Laney) like Kitwana Jones (UNC), R.D. Montgomery (Wake Forest) and Corey Stukes (Wake Forest) and all of those guys.

CC – Exactly.

AJ – Wake was trying to get that Wake pipeline from Laney and actually offered Tindall as well and N.C. State was on the verge of offering. How close was he on the verge of going to Wake Forest?

CC – I think he was pretty close. I know his old high school coach Gordon Walters is real good friends with some of the coaches up there and he's got a lot of connections across the area. I think Rashaad probably looked at the situation where maybe his best chance of playing early, believe it or not, is at Carolina.

AJ – He was actually making a visit at UNC when they blew the lead to Wake Forest. Can you imagine? You're John Bunting…must be one heck of a recruiter because you're blowing a 24-point lead against the team you're going up against for this kid and he still decides to play for you.

CC – Well, like I said. Maybe he saw he would have a better chance at playing at Carolina earlier. But, he is a talented athlete and could play either offense or defense but I think he will eventually end up on defense.

Sammy Batten

AJ - Now I'd like to welcome one of the most respected college football writers and recruiting experts in the state, Sammy Batten of the Fayetteville Observer, welcome to the SportsWAAV.

SB – Hey guys, how are things in the Port City tonight?

AJ – (After talking ACC football) Lets get on to some college recruiting real quickly. Just recently UNC got a commitment from a local kid here in town, Rashaad Tindall from Laney High School. What do you know about him as a player?

SB – Rashaad is a guy I think a lot of people in the state were probably not very aware of outside of the Wilmington area. I think, obviously Willie Davis on that team has gotten a lot of publicity over the course of the season. He committed to Virginia very early so I think a lot of people were aware of him. Gordon Walters, the former coach at Laney had sent me tape on both of those guys in the pre-season so I was somewhat aware of him and Rashaad is just a tremendous athlete.

AJ – Where might he play in college?

SB - He's a guy that can play on the offensive side as a receiver. I think he has a 6-6 high jump so you know the guy can go up. He's 6-4 so he's a big guy and can help you on that side of the ball. Or he could project, if he puts on a little more weight, could be an outside linebacker. He plays safety for Laney. He's just a tremendous athlete and can help you in a lot of places. He told me when I talked to him he said he thinks North Carolina is going to sort of try him out at safety and wide receiver and see where he fits in best. But athletically, he's an excellent prospect and it's just a matter of finding a place where he fits in best once he gets to North Carolina. He also told me he wants to walk on to the basketball team, which is a story we have heard before. I heard he is an outstanding basketball player too.

AJ – Just a couple of more minutes left but are there any players that UNC or N.C. State or even Wake or Duke for that matter that really stand out that they have received commitments from so far?

SB – Right now I think the biggest name on a national basis between those teams is Ian Firestone. He's a wide receiver that committed to North Carolina. Ian's from up in the Pennsylvania area and he had offers from Miami, Notre Dame, Michigan, people like that. He's just an exceptional wide receiver. He's probably the biggest national name.

AJ – He's rated near the top at his position nationally, is he that good?

SB – A lot of big time programs really wanted him so he is a great pick up for John Bunting and the North Carolina football program.

Andrew Jones is in his sixth year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He also in his fourth year as a copy editor and staff writer for the Wilmington Star-News and hosts a nightly radio show on WAAV-AM980 in Wilmington. He has also written for ACCNews and once published The College Game and the former Total Sports. He can be reached via e-mail at: AJWAAV@aol.com.

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