Fab Five

Here is a look at five of NC State's 2014 enrollees who played a major role this season for the Wolfpack.

Here is a look at five of NC State's 2014 enrollees who played a major role this season for the Wolfpack.

Wide Receiver Bo Hines
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Quick Take: Lining up a position filled with young talent, Hines emerged as a vital contributor for the Wolfpack.

All he did was lead the team in receptions (42) and receiving yards (537) while also developing into the punt returner down the stretch.

"Bo came in early, so he was benefited from going through spring ball with us," said Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren. "I think that's a big part of why he's playing so fast.

"He's different. Just his dad was an NFL player. He played in a great football program at Charlotte Christian. He was well coached. He's one of those guys that football is not hard for him to learn. You say it once, and he gets it, and he has great effort when he plays."

As for Hines, expect him to continue working on his craft during bowl practices and in the spring.

"There's a lot of things I can keep working on," he stated. "Getting my depth on routes, making sure I'm in the right spot at the right time, pre-snap reads. Even if you're a first-year college player or a 15-year NFL veteran, I think you can always improve on things."

Offensive Lineman Tony Adams
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Quick Take: It's hard to statistically measure the impact Adams has had given the position he plays, but he's been a terrific addition for the Wolfpack.

Lining up primarily at left guard, Adams has started eight games. He's physical, strong, and a technician at the position.

Adams also has the versatility to slide over and play center, which he did against North Carolina when Quinton Schooley went down with a foot injury in the 35-7 win.

"Tony Adams is a young guy, but a young guy doing big stuff," junior tailback Shadrach Thornton said of Adams after the win over Wake Forest.

What makes the play of Adams so special is that he wasn't a highly-rated recruit and enrolled without high expectations. He picked the Wolfpack in 2013 after securing an offer, his first high-major scholarship offer, at summer camp.

"Tony had a great season for any player, let alone a freshman," said offensive line coach Mike Uremovich. "To play two positions at a high level is exciting to see from a young player."

Defensive Tackle B.J. Hill
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Quick Take: Like Adams and Hines, B.J. Hill enrolled in January, which helped him see the field early. However, few expected him to have the impact he had this season.

Hill started out playing behind two upperclassmen in Thomas Teal and T.Y. McGill, but his role progressed throughout the year. He played in 11 games, recording 36 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and a 1.5 sacks.

The light seemed to come on for Hill following the Florida State game. Over the final seven matchups he totaled 33 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and 1.5 sacks, virtually all of his production. He didn't have fewer than three tackles in any game during that stretch, and had eight tackles and two tackles for a loss at Clemson.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pounder, who enrolled at 260 pounds, was physical, could shed blocks, and is strong at the point of attack. He finished third among the Wolfpack's defensive linemen in tackles and fifth in tackles for a loss.

Also lightly-recruited, Hill picked the Wolfpack over offers from North Carolina and East Carolina.

"I have just worked hard," said Hill. "We had some injuries at [my position] and I just had to step in and play a big role at nose guard.

"I can tell a big difference from the first game until now, just getting better each week. That is all the coaches are asking for. I [don't feel] like a freshman any more."

Linebacker Airius Moore
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Quick Take: Unlike the previous three, Moore didn't enroll early. In fact, he enrolled late and was still able to make an impact.

The Wolfpack's last addition to the 2014 recruiting class, Moore publicly switched his commitment from Indiana to NC State in February. But, he was a "blueshirt," a player who arrives on campus as a walk-on in August and can then go on scholarship after fall camp begins. Because of that, he missed summer workouts and was literally starting fall camp from scratch.

However, his instincts and playmaking ability allowed him to see the field early, and his big break came at Louisville. With starting middle linebacker Jerod Fernandez out due to a suspension, Moore got the start and responded, totaling a team-high eight tackles, including seven solo hits, two tackles for a loss, and a sack. He also had big plays like this, this, and this that caught the coaching staff's attention.

When Fernandez returned, Moore had earned more playing time. In 12 games, he finished with 36 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, and a forced fumble.

"He's a really, really good football player," said Doeren. "He's smart, he's quick, he's tough. He learns fast."

Tight End/H-Back Jaylen Samuels
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Quick Take: Recruiting-savvy NC State fans know all about how production Jaylen Samuels was a prep standout for Mallard Creek High School.

As a senior, Samuels had 109 carries for 1,404 yards (12.9 yards per carry) and 39 rushing touchdowns, and he added 49 catches for 932 yards and 16 more scores.

"He scored a touchdown every 2.8 times he touched the football his senior year," said Doeren back in February. "If that's not productive, I don't know what is."

However, his only high-major scholarship offer when he picked the Wolfpack was from NC State. A big reason was because of his projected position, fullback. Fewer teams utilize the position in their offense, which hampered his recruitment.

Wolfpack offensive coordinator Matt Canada has had to find ways to get Samuels touches, and when he did, the true freshman produced. Lining up at tight end, fullback, and H-back, Samuels totaled 14 carries for 143 yards and a touchdown. His 10.21 yards per carry was the highest average on the team. He added three catches for 55 yards, a gaudy 18.3 yards per catch.

"He's a very productive player with the ball in his arm," said Doeren. "He's hard-to-tackle, good vision... strong stiff-arm guy. He finishes runs the way you want them finished."

"Jay Sam is a unique talent," added offensive coordinator Matt Canada. "There's no doubt about it. He's been very productive with the ball in his hands."

Look for the Wolfpack coaching staff to continue finding different ways to get Samuels involved moving forward.

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