April 16, 2007
Dynamic athlete on Clemson's radar
MATTHEWS, N.C. - One of the top athletes in the state of North Carolina, who stars right now as a dual-threat quarterback on the prep level, was in attendance for Sunday's Rivals.com Junior Day at Butler High School.
A.J. Blue, hailing from Dallas (NC) North Gaston, has been a standout now for two seasons. As a sophomore he threw for 1,602 yards and 14 scores, while running for 1,014 more yards and 10 touchdowns.
He followed that up with a junior campaign that included over 3,100 yards of total offense - 1,800 in the air and 1,350 on the ground - to go with 24 touchdowns on the ground and 19 passing.
"Reading the defense is my strength," Blue told Tigerillustrated.com. "I'm hoping to progress on that. Trying to figure out what's going on - whether to pass or run."
The touted 6-foot-2, 208-pound recruit discussed his thoughts on all of the schools showing interest in him.
Clemson - "I like (tight ends) coach (Billy) Napier. I like him. He's willing to give me a chance and hopefully (will) give me an offer. I need to get in touch with him and we'll go from there. I like Clemson. They are good. The past season they really showed up on TV a lot. I didn't really hear about them much the past couple of years. They really got my eye. My running back from my high school wants to go to Clemson and thinks he can take their backs out (of the lineup). We both want to go to Clemson or Tennessee together. I told him he has a big mountain to climb to take either of them."
North Carolina - "They are recruiting me the hardest. I like Butch Davis a lot. I liked him way before he came to Carolina. I just like Carolina. My brother passed away and his best friend was Ronnie McGill, they went to Clover High School together."
South Carolina - "I went there yesterday for their Spring Game - they have nice facilities and all that. To tell you the truth nobody really talked to me when I was up there. I went up there, signed in and it was a regular day. No one talked to me."
Virginia Tech - "I want to go there bad. They give their quarterback a chance to throw or run. That's the type of style, like (they used) Michael Vick. That's exactly how I want to run my offense right there."
Wake Forest - "We run a little option. I like them a lot. They do run the option. They do give the quarterback a chance to pass or run."
North Carolina State - "(Linebackers) coach (Andy) McCollum calls me or texts me every now and then."
Tennessee - "I'm hoping to visit Tennessee. I was supposed to go there two weeks ago, but had the Shrine Bowl thing. Coach (Phillip) Fulmer - I like him a lot. They taught Peyton Manning a lot. I don't play like Peyton Manning, but I want the mind-frame like he does - be able to read defenses like he does."
Blue, who claims an offer from Duke, has been to South Carolina, Wake Forest, North Carolina and North Carolina so far. He plans to visit Virginia Tech this weekend and would like to unofficially visit UNC, NC State and Tennessee this summer.
"If I go anywhere I want to know if I have a chance to start at quarterback," he indicated. "That's my goal right there; a promise to let me know that I do have a chance to start at quarterback. Hopefully they can adjust to the way I play. I mean I can adjust to the way they play too, but hopefully they can adjust to the way I play so they can make it easier. And to get my education (is a priority, too)."
Where is each school recruiting to play?
"So far its quarterback, so far," the athlete pointed out. "But I can play receiver, too, that's it though, nothing on defense."
On March 31st at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas combine held at Butler High School, Blue had a 32-inch vertical jump, a 4.62-second 40-yard dash, a 4.43-second pro shuttle and benched pressed 185 pounds 19 times.
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