Five North Carolina players are in the great northwest. The reason for the cross country trek is three of the five players have offers from Oregon, but the Eugene campus isn't the only college the five players will visit on their western swing. They will also be visiting Oregon State and Cal.
All five players are from Greensboro (N.C.) Northern Guilford. The three players on the trip that have offers from Oregon are three-star cornerback James Scales (5-10, 179, 4.6), four-star Keenan Allen (6-3, 195, 4.56) and four-star defensive end Gabe King (6-6, 253, 4.6).
The other two players who are hoping to pick up western offers while on the visit are linebacker Chris McCain (6-7, 215, 4.68) and sleeper athlete prospect Maurice Harris (6-3, 205).
Many are scratching their heads in wonderment and asking what in the world are five talented kids from North Carolina doing in the great northwest visiting schools all across the country.
The man who organized this cross country journey is Northern Guilford Assistant Coach Otis Yelverton better known as Coach O and he lets us in on the story.
"I was able to get to know Coach Mike Bellotti during the recruiting process when Oregon was recruiting Remene Alston Jr and we developed a relationship," Coach O said. "We also developed first, a good relationship with (running backs) Coach Gary Campbell.
"Most of Oregon's coaches have been there for a long time. Coach Bellotti led the charge and they have a real family atmosphere.
"It is hard to find a program outside of Penn State and maybe Florida State that coaches that have been on the staff as long as they have at Oregon," Coach O said. "You can talk about Coach Bellotti has been there since 1989 (became head coach in 1995). Coach Campbell has been there 25 or 26 years and you have Don Pellum, who has been at Oregon for 21 years as a player and a coach. You also have Coach Steve Greatwood and you Coach Nick Aliotti who has been there two or three times.
"So I think when you are dealing with kids from the south, the biggest thing they want is a family atmosphere, because in the south that is what is really stressed, family first," Coach O said. "I think that is the reason for the attraction with Oregon and then through Coach Jeff Tedford at Cal, it is just a good match.
"Coach Mike Riley at Oregon State also has a great family atmosphere," Coach O said. "I have had the pleasure of working with one of the coaches who was on Coach Riley's staff when he was with the San Diego Chargers. He is now the head coach at Hampton University and I have had several players to play for Hampton so that is how I developed a relationship with Coach Riley.
"Remene (Alston) originally committed to Cal before Oregon and then he changed his mind," Coach O said. "At that time I developed a relationship with Cal's running back coach Ron Gould and I also developed a good relationship with Ken Delgado. When Coach Delgado left, I was given a chance to work with defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi and linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson."
Though they will take in camps while they are on this tour, but for one player, Cal is high his list and that is very good news for Cal Bear fans.
"Cal is number one on Gabe King's list," Coach O said. "Cal is number one with Alabama and North Carolina right there with Gabe. He loves Tosh Lupoi.
"We may come down to the USC Rising Stars Camp if our plans change," Coach O said. "We were supposed to leave on Monday, but might end up staying with my cousin who lives in the Bay Area and driving down to Los Angeles. We will also try to take in UCLA while we are down there."
Coach O and his crew will be at Oregon today (June 16th) and tomorrow before heading to Oregon State on Thursday. They will be at Cal on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
"The kids are very excited about visiting out west," Coach O said. "They are like little kids in a candy store right now, but they also have to know that after tomorrow they have to punch the clock and get to work.
"This is not a let's go to Disney World Trip this is to come here and show that North Carolina has great football players," Coach O said. "We're coming here to prove a point."
Coach O was kind enough to give a scouting report on the Fab Five from Carolina.
"James (Scales) is a very smart kid," Coach O said. "He understands the game. He has an outstanding work ethic. He comes from a great family. He's a great student with a 3.5 GPA and 1080 on the SAT. If he has any downside, he has to work on his top end speed, but otherwise if the thinks that Oregon is the school for him it will be a great, great asset to the Oregon program.
"Keenan (Allen) is the best player I have ever coached," Coach O said. "He's the number one player in North Carolina. He can do everything. He led the state in punting with an average of 42.6 yards per punt. He played wide receiver. He played running back. He played strong safety, free safety and corner. He has offers from every school in the country except for Texas, USC and Florida. In my honest opinion, bar any injuries, he will play on Sunday.
"Gabe (King) is a great player," Coach O said. "He transferred into the school in April so I haven't actually had the opportunity to put my hands on him and coach him. He has a lot of raw ability. He is 6-5, 262-pounds and has been timed in the 40 in 4.7 electronically. He has a lot of top end. He's a good student. He just has to work on the fundamentals. He has been playing strictly off of talent.
"Chris (McCain) probably has the most upside," Coach O said. "You can't coach 6-7, 215 and the way he runs. He runs a low 4.7 or high 4.6. He won the MVP on a state championship team. He's just a player. He's just an athlete.
"Maurice (Harris) is 6-3, 205 and a good student. He plays various positions, he just needs to find what position he's going to be good at and once we find that out, he's going to be a good one. He plays quarterback and he's the cousin of Keenan Allen."