February 15, 2007

Players to Watch around Cleveland

Ohio is and always will be Buckeye County, but Butch Davis and his North Carolina assistant coaches made their mark there in its 2007 signing class, particularly in and around Cleveland.

While serving as head of the Cleveland Browns from 2001 to 2004, Davis became quite familiar with the local high school football scene, and as a result of those connections, he was able to attain signatures from wide receiver Charles Brown and athlete Matt Merletti last week.

The Tar Heels figure to continue seeking talent in and around Cleveland in the 2008 class, and with an entire year to pursue certain players, they stand a good chance of getting signatures from more players from the area next February.

Take a closer look at 10 of the Cleveland area's top 2008 prospects, of which some may wind up getting serious interest from the UNC staff.

Nathan Cope Warren (Howland)

Cope, a 6-0, 185-pound athlete, played tailback, wide receiver, and safety in 2006 for Howland High School in Warren, located an hour southeast of Cleveland. He averaged nearly six yards per carry on the ground, producing 538 yards and six touchdowns, while adding 10 receptions for 200 yards. Defensively, Cope recorded three interceptions. Cope possesses a 4.5 40-yard dash, a 33 inch vertical jump, and a 3.3 GPA in the classroom.

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