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Scorpions’ Rayner looks forward to Shrine Bowl


North Brunswick's Keilin Rayner (48) dominated in the fall, finishing two tackles shy of Stephen Graham’s school record of 166. (Photo by StarNews file photo)


Soon after his selection to the 75th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, North Brunswick High School senior Keilin Rayner met with local Shriners.

They briefed him on what to expect leading up to the Dec. 17 game in Spartanburg (S.C.) and lauded him at the gathering.

He leaves Sunday for practices and functions prior to the game airing on ESPN3, a computer-generated telecast at 1 p.m.

“I want to see the kids at the Shriners Hospitals, help them out and help generate money,” Rayner said.

Game proceeds go to the Shriners Hospital for Children’s Endowment Fund for burns and spinal injuries.

Being eager to visit the hospitals is rooted in his goal to help others.

Rayner is one of the top 25 prospects in the state, according to ESPN Recruiting Nation Football. He plans to accept a scholarship to a school offering sports medicine and kinesiology.

According to an ESPN analyst scouting report, at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Rayner projects as a major-college outside linebacker.

ESPN analysts consider him solid against the run and as an edge rusher, but he needs to hone his pass-coverage skills. The report also mentioned his drive and intensity to the ball makes him a game changer.

Rayner is lining up official recruiting trips. He  visited North Carolina on Oct. 8, the day the Tar Heels beat Louisville 14-7.

He plans to visit Duke, East Carolina, Clemson and South Carolina before national letter of intent day Feb. 1.

NCAA rules allow five official visits. He intends to visit ECU in January and set up the other trips soon.

As for the Shrine Bowl, Rayner is the first Scorpion chosen for the game and one of three in the area selected. The others are Topsail offensive guard Andrew Potts and East Duplin outside linebacker Dre Scarborugh.

“The Shrine Bowl is a well-deserved honor for Keilin,” Scorpions coach Garry Bishop said. “Keilin, as I have said before, has all the measurable attributes to be a great college player.”

The coach cited dedication, leadership, book smarts and character, traits equal to his skill level.

Rayner dominated in the fall, finishing two tackles shy of Stephen Graham’s school record of 166.

“We tried to get him with misdirection plays, hoping he would take a step or two the wrong way,” rival East Bladen coach Lenon Fisher said. “There was no way to handle him.”

Former West Brunswick coach Jimmy Fletcher said Rayner just manhandled opponents.

“His biggest attribute is speed,” Fletcher said. “I got to talk to him in track and his character comes through. He was a great track athlete as well.”