I am also from the Raleigh area. I have found that most MMA academys around here do not allow new guys to use leg locks. They wont even teach them to newbs until they've got a year or more under their belt. And using leg locks on class mates during live roll sessions is typically
out also. The higher level practioners are the only guys I've seen actually using heel hooks and leg locks while live rolling. I think it has to do with newbs going too hard and hurting each other. Anway most guys Ive trained with have had a knee injury at some point and they do just fine in MMA.
That said, there is an excellent MMA academy in Raliegh at the Forged Fitness gym. Brandon Gardner, who was on TUF last year, trains there as well as some other local MMA pros. They have an excellent staff