If you took about a 5-mile drive down Pineville-Matthews Road in south Charlotte on just about any fall weekday afternoon, you could see three of the best high school players in the United States.
At Charlotte Christian, which is technically just off Pineville-Matthews, there is 6-foot-5, 233-pound tight end Jeb Blazevich, who has committed to Georgia.
Your next stop is Providence High, where 6-6, 292-pound offensive lineman Bentley Spain plays. Hell attend North Carolina.
Go down the road a little farther and you run into Charlotte Catholics Elijah Hood, a 5-11, 220-pound running back going to Notre Dame.
And if you go past Catholic, jump on I-485 and head north about 30 minutes, you could find Davidson Days Will Grier, a 6-3, 181-pound quarterback heading to Florida.
ESPN ranks each of those four players among the top 10 in North Carolina. The four Mecklenburg County stars rank among the top eight players in the Observer and Raleigh News & Observers rankings of the top 50 college recruits in North and South Carolina.
Its a little unusual to have that much talent so close together, first-year Providence coach Justin Hardin said. The competition around here seems to get stronger and stronger every year. But to have those three guys going to North Carolina, (Georgia) and Notre Dame speaks a lot about Charlotte high school football.
Hardin believes this trend will continue.
If you look at the recruiting process the last 10 years, starting with the Leak brothers (Chris and C.J. at Independence High), the interest in Charlotte has grown every year, Hardin said. More and more colleges are realizing that Charlotte is a football city and theres a lot of talent here. It speaks highly of the high school coaches and programs that are developing in Charlotte.
Wertz: 704-612-9716; twitter: @langstonwertzjr; facebook.com/queencitypreps
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