“It’s a lot faster than my school, so I got to get used to the speed,” said Atkins. “I’m playing against the best, so I’ve got to play hard.”
Atkins, a 6-foot-1 210-pound quarterback from Durham (N.C.) Southern, has split reps with Scout.com three-star quarterback O.C. Wardlow. With both gunslingers being dual threats, the North Carolina coaching staff plans to include designed quarterback run plays in their arsenal.
“They [the North Carolina coaching staff] will use our feet and arms,” said Atkins. “We’ll be doing a lot of sprinting out where we’ll have the option to run or pass. We might do some draws, also.”
Atkins plans to use this week of practice as well as Saturday’s game as an opportunity to boost his recruiting stock.
“A lot of coaches are coming to the school to get my film,” said Atkins. “My coach told me that Virginia was coming out, [N.C.] State was coming out, Coastal Carolina, and some other schools to see how I play [this week and during the Shrine Bowl].”
Thus far, division I-AA Howard is Atkins’s lone scholarship offer, but he is seeing strong interest from Virginia and N.C. State.
Although Atkins is quickly mistaken as a running quarterback, it was his arm that helped lead Southern High School to a 12-1 record. Atkins completed 114-of-217 (53%) for 1,931 yards and ten touchdowns on the year.