Updated: Oct 14, 2019
After a heavy dose of committed prospects to begin the Heel Tough Blog’s scouting schedule, Friday was the first time this 2019 season that we headed out to see a game that did not involve a Tar Heel commit. Instead, thanks to your votes, we went to see an Auburn commit who the Tar Heels coaching staff and even a current player are attempting to flip as we head towards the early signing period.
Trenton Simpson, the No. 2 player in the state of North Carolina, put together an outstanding performance on Friday night for the Mallard Creek Mavericks as they shutout conference foe West Charlotte. Simpson had a big night for the Mavericks finishing with nine total tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. He was a nightmare all night for the West Charlotte offense as he was constantly in the backfield and he provided plenty of pressure throughout the night, as he blitzed off the edge about 90% of the time out of his 3-4 outside linebacker spot. The offensive tackles for West Charlotte couldn’t contain the speed of Simpson, who combines that speed with a quick release off the line of scrimmage that makes him so dangerous in pass rushing situations. His speed and athleticism allows him to cover so much space in a short period of time and he is as sure a tackler as any linebacker in this 2020 class, so if the Tar Heels are able to flip his commitment, he will have the ability to play anywhere in the Tar Heel linebacking corps. Friday’s game didn’t see Simpson drop back into coverage often, but as we saw last year when we scouted him, he has plenty of athleticism and coverage ability to make a difference for the Tar Heels linebacking corps in coverage situations.
We were able to speak to Simpson after the game and, as expected, he was pretty tight lipped about his recruitment. He did confirm that he was in fact on campus for the Clemson game, but that was something that we knew was already the case through a multitude of sources. We also asked Simpson about his relationship with current Tar Heel safety Cam’Ron Kelly, who was able to confirm that he has a really strong connection with and talks to him pretty often. At this time, Simpson remains committed to Auburn, but the Tar Heels are one of a few teams that are still making a strong push for him. This recruitment is not over and should be an exciting one to follow over the next few months.
There was plenty of talent on the field on Friday night for Mallard Creek. While there were plenty of options to pick from, there were a few that stood out. Defensive end JT Whitmore had a huge night, sacking West Charlotte quarterback Silas Cruse three times and helping to provide pressure all night. Whitmore holds three college offers (Akron, North Carolina Central and Alabama A&M) and will be a nice addition wherever he ends up with his mixture of athleticism and physicality as a pass rusher.
Another player that won’t be talked about much when talking about this Mallard Creek team, but deserves to be, is running back Brian Robinson. He found the endzone for the Mavericks first two touchdowns of the game and was the most effective running back for either team on Friday. Robinson runs with a mean edge, but he also has the speed to run away from defenders. Robinson doesn’t have a known college offer yet, but this young man is deserving of some looks. Other names who had a big impact on Friday night for Mallard Creek were inside linebacker Wesley Blount and running back Quasean Holmes.
Next week, we remain in the Charlotte area, as we head to Ardrey Kell High School to get a look at 2020 3✮ ATH commit Cedric Gray, as he and the Knights face the Olympic Trojans in a game that could eventually decide the So. Meck 7 4A conference title.