Pack's 2011 Recruiting Hits Home Stretch

With 14 players committed for the class of 2011, NC State hits the recruiting home stretch this month and will be looking to round out it's class. The Wolfpack can take approximately six more prospects in this class and Pack Pride breaks down the possibilities and story lines headed into the final weeks of the recruiting year.

With 14 players committed for the class of 2011, NC State hits the recruiting home stretch this month and will be looking to round out it's class. The Wolfpack can take approximately six more prospects in this class and Pack Pride breaks down the possibilities and story lines headed into the final weeks of the recruiting year.

Will the Pack take a QB?
NC State has a commitment from Harnett Central's Brian Taylor but has wanted to sign two QB's all along. The Pack would desperately like to land Hillside's Vad Lee. Consider, if Russell Wilson returns for the 2011 season, it is certainly plausible that Wolfpack QB Mike Glennon could consider transferring. Were that to play out, NC State would enter the 2012 season with  sophomore Tyler Brosius and Taylor as the only two scholarship QB's on the roster. For now, the Pack's best hope is to secure an official visit with Lee and go from there. At this point there's not a lot to suggest State has much of a chance so a trip to Raleigh would be huge for the Wolfpack coaching staff. Beyond Lee, there doesn't appear to be any other quarterback options available.

One more offensive lineman would fill out the position
State has two offensive linemen committed and that would be okay but the Wolfpack coaches would like to add one more. For now the main player for that final spot is Evan Mulrooney. He reached out to NC State after Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen was fired and should be officially visiting the Pack this coming weekend. The Wolfpack has a fighting chance here but they have to blow him away during his visit. If he leaves Raleigh without committing within the first few days after leaving then we believe State's chances will dwindle. He made it clear to us that he likes newly hired head coach Randy Edsall and we believe Edsall has already had his in-home visit with Mulrooney. Beyond Mulrooney, there doesn't appear to be any other offensive linemen on the board. There was talk earlier in the year that State may target a junior college offensive lineman but to date nothing has surfaced.

Anson County package
NC State has offered Anson County LB Stephone Anthony and his teammate S Brandon Ellerbe. Anthony has narrowed his choices to NC State, Florida, Virginia Tech, Clemson and UNC. What is interesting with Anthony is that we've heard nothing to suggest State is one of the major threats to land him. However, insiders from a couple of the other teams believe the Pack could emerge as the team to beat. Ellerbe is currently committed to UNC but he has been all over the board with his recruiting. The rumor goes that he committed to the Heels without consulting his family first. Since then, he's mentioned Carolina, Clemson and State as teams he's considering. The final piece of the puzzle as it relates to NC State may be Anson County WR Jonathan Hough. There is a definite possibility that the Pack may offer him at some point. Virginia Tech has also kicked around the possibility of offering Hough but the Hokies are running low on scholarships. If State decides to offer Hough we think it will likely be near the end of January.

Could a current Wolfpack commit play a factor with another major target?
Regardless of what Stephone Anthony decides, there's no doubt that NC State wants to add Lithonia (GA) LB Cedrick Cooper to this class. In the Pack's corner will be current commit and teammate of Cooper, Dave Mann. Mann has a great personality and is a very strong asset in the Wolfpack's corner. However, there are a couple of factors working against State in our opinion. We believe the best visits to have are the first and the last. Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, they are sandwiched in between official visits to UNC this weekend and South Carolina on Jan 21. The biggest challenge may ultimately prove to be the allure of the SEC. For the Pack's part, Dave Mann has expressed his desire to visit with Cooper when he comes to Raleigh on Jan 14 which should be a plus to some degree. However, experience has shown that this typically doesn't play a huge role in a player's final decision. Prior to the UNC visit, sources indicated that they thought Arkansas and NC State were the teams to beat.

Skill position openings and options dwindle
If you look at running back, quarterback, tight end and wide receiver, only two major prospects remain. Vad Lee was mentioned earlier as the Pack's main prospect at QB. The other target is TE Benson Browne. Getting a read on Browne has been next to impossible but we do know he has officially visited Illinois and NC State and plans to visit Louisville in January. He has also mentioned West Virginia as a team he likes as well. NC State head coach Tom O'Brien and offensive line coach Don Horton reportedly had their in-home visit with Browne last week. Typically State would like to schedule their in-home to coincide with a pending decision. The longer Browne goes without deciding could work against NC State. For now, your guess is as good as ours in regards to where Browne ends up. The Pack will almost certainly not take a running back in this class and likely won't take another wide receiver, either. However, if a slot is open as the final couple of weeks of the recruiting year approaches, it is possible the Pack could go after a wide receiver. The only name we've heard recently is Greenville (SC) WR Hakeem Flowers. The Pack is keeping the lines of communication open but will need to solidify an official visit soon if they're to stay in contention.

Another defensive tackle is a priority
At this point in the recruiting year, priorities can shift from filling specific needs to taking best available- regardless of position. However, State definitely wants to sign another defensive tackle in this class and the priority for now is Fuquay-Varina (NC) standout and UNC commit Shawn Underwood. It appears that State has little or no shot at Underwood and for now, we don't think an official visit to State will happen. If the Wolfpack misses on Underwood, which appears to be the case, they will continue to work to fill the position. One of the main players State may target is Tarpon Springs (FL) Brodrick Lee. There may also be a couple of other players not mentioned to date that may surface.

Players that don't appear to be major targets right now
There are several players that have been on the Wolfpack board previously that don't appear to be priorities currently. We don't want to write them off because things can change quickly in recruiting but we don't have the information to suggest that they continue to be major players on the NC State recruiting board. A few of these are WR Dexter Bridge, ATH Frankie Williams, LB Terrance Plummerand LB Britton Grier.

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