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March 21, 2006

Little: the next Hillside star

DURHAM, N.C.-The walls of Durham (N.C.) Hillside High tell the story of past athletic achievement.

A packed trophy case is the center piece of the commons area, there are numerous banners for conference and state championship teams in the gymnasium, along with the retired jerseys of past greats like NBA star John Lucas and former Wake Forest basketball standout and NBA player Rodney Rogers.

Some day, football star Greg Little hopes to be among the Hillside greats to be enshrined in the way of wall decor. Chances are, that will happen. Little, one of the most versatile prospects in the country in the class of 2007, has early scholarship offers from nearly every major college program in the Southeast.

But Little also has off-the-field goals. He hopes to one day create a video game.

"That's what I want to do, so I want to major in something that will help me do that," he said.

For now, Little sticks to playing ones others have created. His current favorite is EASports NCAA Football 2006, where he attempts to learn more about the game through the virtual simulation.

"You really have to get into the game and get all of your settings right and audibles and everything set to get the game to the highest point," Little said. "You really have to get into the game to get what you want out of it.

There are rules in place to help the game stay realistic.

"I try and get it to be as realistic as possible," he said. "We even have a reality rule where if you have fourth down and more than five yards to go, we make you punt."

Perhaps Little can figure out how programs can best use him. The 6-foot-3, 207-pounder projects as a wide receiver, but could easily see time at running back, safety or even linebacker at the next level.

"The key word for Greg is versatility," Hillside coach Ray Harrison said. "He can run the ball, he can catch it, he can play defense, he can put his hand down on the ground and play defensive end, he's played strong safety and has even lined up at corner a few times in the red zone last year."

On Tuesday, Little received a note from Clemson recruiter Billy Napier with a good idea.

"They said they wanted to create a G-back," Little said. "That's a wide receiver and a running back, so that was pretty exciting.

"Pretty much all of the schools are looking at me to create mismatches. They want me to motion into the backfield and in and out of the backfield to create mismatches."

There are a few schools that are showing up strong on Little's radar at the moment.

Michigan, Penn State, Florida, Clemson, N.C. State, and Miami (Fla.) all are schools Little says he would like to visit. He will take several more unofficial visits before deciding on official visits.

Little also has a commitment timeframe.

"By December, I should have it down to five and by January, going into February, I should have my final decision," Little said.

Little will attend the Clemson NIKE Camp on May 21 and plans to camp at several schools this summer.

In the meantime, he continues to work toward finding a permanent place on the walls at Hillside.


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