Posted On: 03/29/21 3:14 PM
At Prep Redzone North Carolina, we decided during our preseason rankings update not to create a 2024 watchlist. The reason is that freshmen often come out of nowhere to become impact players on varsity. We’ll start our 2024 rankings when we update the rankings after the season, but there are a few guys already making their presence felt on varsity. Here are five guys we think you know know right now.
Jack Larsen Jack Larsen 6'3" | TE Charlotte Catholic | 2024 NC , 6’3 215, TE- Charlotte Catholic
Charlotte Catholic has been running the Wing T since before my parents were born, so the Cougars are more well known for their laundry list of running backs that receivers. That being said, Larsen might be the best receiver to ever come through the program. I was told of Larsen’s talent before the season, but even I’ve been a little surprised at his immediate impact. In four games, he’s put up 200 yards and two touchdowns, including a 5-catch, 132-yard outburst against Sun Valley. Larsen is big, strong, speedy and already has a great understanding of how to find the soft spot against zone coverage. I usually hesitate to project players this young, but I feel confident in calling him a Power Five prospect.
Dujuan Armwood Dujuan Armwood 6'0" | RB North Duplin | 2024 NC , 6’ 180, RB- North Duplin
Armwood is perhaps better known as a standout basketball player for North Duplin, but he also leads the state in rushing among the class of 2024. After a modest varsity debut in Week 1, he put up three straight 100-yard, four touchdown games, including an 8-carry, 190-yard performance against Union. He already has great size for the position and has breakaway speed, leading to a number of long touchdown runs this season. He’s a guy I’m intrigued to see in a camp setting.
Ethan Biggs Ethan Biggs 5'8" | WR Union Pines | 2024 NC , 5’8 160, WR- Union Pines
Biggs announced his arrival on the high school football scene with authority, putting up 264 yards and 10 catches in his first career varsity game. While he’s obviously slowed a bit from that pace, he’s caught 17 passes for 243 yards in his last three games, solidifying his place as one of the best young receivers in the state. Credit the coaching staff for continuing to find creative ways to get the ball to Biggs, including end arounds and screens. Once Biggs has the ball, you know something exciting is about to happen as he is so explosive.
Anthony Quinn Jr., 5’10, 180, RB- Seventy First
Quinn has been more than just a big-play back this year, showing an ability to consistently lead an offense. He’s averaging 143 yards and 20 carries over his last three games for Seventy First against stiff competition. He runs with great pad level and displays excellent burst through the hole. He possesses good size for his age and as he continues to develop, he’s a guy to watch over the next few years.
Jonathan Paylor Jonathan Paylor 5'10" | WR Cummings | 2024 NC , 5’10 175, WR- Cummings
Biggs put up gigantic numbers in Week 1 against Cummings, but it’s actually Paylor who leads not just freshmen, but the entire state in receiving yards. Paylor has gone over 100 yards from scrimmage in every game this year, including three 190-plus yard games. He’s scored 15 times this season as a running back and receiver. Last Friday, he took it to another level, catching four passes for 273 yards, all for touchdowns. He’s explosive in the open field and very physical, especially for his size. Each week he continues to impress.