FLASHBACK: NC State's Top Ten Signees

Pack Pride takes a look back at the top ten football recruits signed by NC State over the last decade.

With Signing Day approaching, we take a look back at the top ten football recruits signed by NC State over the last decade.

10. Jalan McClendon

High School: Charlotte (NC) West Mecklenburg
Recruiting Class: 2014
Rank: **** (No. 15 QB, No. 248 overall)
Career at NC State: 2014-Present

Jalan McClendon signed with NC State nearly one year ago and redshirted his first season in Raleigh.

During his recruitment McClendon received interest and offers from Florida State, Miami and North Carolina among many others.

After his commitment to NC State the staff at the University of Tennessee continued to pursue the standout quarterback's signature, but McClendon remained rock solid in his commitment to the Wolfpack.

He is expected to be incumbent senior Jacoby Brissett’s backup during the 2015 season and will be the odds on favorite to win the starting job outright in 2016.

How he pans out is still up in the air, but all indications are he was really, really good last fall.

9. Tony Creecy

High School: Durham (NC) Southern
Recruiting Class: 2010
Rank: **** (No. 35 WR, No. 233 overall)
Career at NC State: 2010-2014

Tony Creecy had a sensational prep career as a wide receiver for Southern (NC) Durham, as he was ranked a four-star recruit and considered one of the top players in the state.

He gained several offers before ultimately choosing NC State over Duke in the summer of 2009.

Creecy had the skills of a wide receiver but the body of a tailback, so after enrolling he converted to running back. He redshirted as a true freshman and found a role as a reserve runner who became reliable on short-yardage situations and receiving out of the backfield.

He finished his career with 1,265 yards and nine touchdowns on 324 carries (3.9 YPC). He also totaled 75 catches for 428 yards and six more scores.

Perhaps better than his statistical contributions, Creecy was always considered an extremely hard worker and a leader on and off the field for the Wolfpack.

8. Brandon Barnes

High School: Bunn (NC)
Recruiting Class: 2008
Rank: **** (No. 14 S, No. 194 overall)
Career at NC State: 2008-2012

Brandon Barnes was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of Bunn (NC) High School.

He received offers from the who's who of college football... Southern California, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Clemson, and Florida among others before selecting NC State in the summer of 2007.

A local product, Barnes produced a lot of debate amongst NCSU fans with some believing his superior athleticism would be best served at safety while others thought Barnes would find his place at tailback. After redshirting as a true freshman Barnes found his spot as a reserve tailback, but an injury sustained during his redshirt sophomore season slowed his progress and Barnes was never able to catch back up from that point.

He received limited snaps his final two seasons with arguably his best performance coming in a game at Miami where he rushed seven times for 44 yards.

He finished his career with 72 carries for 214 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 10 catches for 103 yards.

7. Kentavius Street

High School: Greenville (NC) Rose
Recruiting Class: 2014
Rank: **** (No. 18 DE, No. 160 overall)
Career at NC State: 2014-Present

Kentavius Street was NC State’s highest-rated recruit in Dave Doeren’s first full class as head coach of the Wolfpack.

Street received offers from nearly every program in the southeast, and appeared to be leaning towards leaving the state (he's originally from Georgia) early in his recruitment. However, his recruitment took a hard turn toward Raleigh after an unofficial visit to State in the spring of 2013.

Street would eventually commit to the Pack over offers from Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Ole Miss and LSU.

Street worked his way into the rotation at defensive end as a true freshman, totaling 22 tackles, and he is expected to compete for a starting job this spring.

6. Denzelle Good

High School: Gaffney (SC)
Recruiting Class: 2009
Rank: **** (No. 6 OG, No. 141 overall)
Career at NC State: 2009-2010

To be a highly-rated recruit, Denzelle Good was a relatively easy get for NC State.

The Wolfpack offered him after a a summer camp session in 2008 and he accepted moments later. He had forged a great relationship with the coaching staff at that time and said it was a no-brainer.

Good would go on to receive other offers from Maryland and Virginia but never wavered on his commitment to coach Tom O’Brien.

However, Good’s stay in Raleigh wouldn’t be long. Tom O'Brien announced early during fall camp of 2010 that Good, who would have been just a redshirt freshman, "had not lived up to expectations and was no longer on the team."

He never played a meaningful snap.

5. R.J. Mattes

High School: Concord (NC) Robinson
Recruiting Class: 2008
Rank: **** (No. 11 OT, No. 129 overall)
Career at NC State: 2008-2012

NC State had a rare, built-in advantage in the recruitment of R.J Mattes... his father, Ron, had been a standout defensive lineman at Virginia when Tom O’Brien was an assistant.

State would use that advantage in an uphill battle to get in the race and ultimately win it.

Mattes took his recruitment nearly all the way until signing day. He took official visits to NC State, UNC, South Carolina, Clemson, and his father’s alma mater UVA. Throughout the process Mattes was considered to be a Clemson lean all the way to the day he verbally committed to the Wolfpack.

Mattes developed into a solid contributor and starter for four seasons in Raleigh. His production may have been hampered over his career as he was asked to play every position on the line but center and he also had to deal with a serious knee injury.

4. Terrell Manning

High School: Laurinburg (NC) Scotland
Recruiting Class: 2008
Rank: **** (No. 6 LB, No. 94 overall)
Career at NC State: 2008-2011

Terrell Manning was heavily recruited by many programs throughout the southeast going into the spring semester of his junior year of high school, and he was considered the top player in the state.

Manning eventually cut his list to Virginia Tech, Clemson, and NC State during the summer of 2007 before selecting the Pack in August.

His football career suffered a major setback during his senior high school season when he tore his ACL, an injury that essentially forced him to redshirt his true freshman season at NC State.

The next year was a challenging one for Manning and a very young NC State defense that saw a lot of freshmen getting their first taste of collegiate football action. However, Manning and the Wolfpack hit their stride the next two years which saw two winning seasons that each resulted in bowl victories.

Manning was outstanding as a junior, earning All-ACC honors, and left early for the NFL draft, where he was selected in the 5th round by the Green Bay Packers.

He finished his career at NC State with 193 tackles (112 solos), 27.5 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, five interceptions, 14 pass breakouts, eight forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

3. Mike Glennon

High School: Chantilly (VA) Westfield
Recruiting Class: 2008
Rank: **** (No. 5 QB, No. 87 overall)
Career at NC State: 2008-2012

Mike Glennon was a known commodity early in his prep career because his brother Sean was a highly-rated quarterback in his own right who ended up at Virginia Tech.

As Mike began his process he earned scholarship offers from the likes of Florida State, Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Virginia among others. A pro-style quarterback entering the age of the spread offense, Glennon saw an opportunity at NC State playing for Tom O'Brien and Dana Bible in their pro-style offense.

Glennon’s recruitment began to take shape when he elected to attend O’Brien’s first camp series at NC State in order to earn an offer from the Wolfpack. This was a significant turn of events for such a well-respected recruit with offers already on the table from so many powerful programs... at the time, NC State wouldn't offer a quarterback prior to an in-person evaluation. Sure enough the offer came, though it is debatable as to whether or not it was actually earned at camp or if showing up was the only barrier he had to pass, and Glennon committed within a matter of days.

Upon arrival at fall camp in 2008 Glennon found the starting quarterback competition dwindle down to only himself and a two-star, redshirt freshman named Russell Wilson. Wilson won the job and Glennon redshirted as Russell went on to be named ACC Rookie of the Year and 1st-Team All-ACC.

After redshirting, Glennon played sparingly the next two seasons and got the starting job after Wilson transferred to Wisconsin in 2011.

Glennon started for two seasons, and finished his career with 7,411 passing yards, 63 touchdowns and 41 interceptions... more than living up to the lofty expectations.

He was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

2. Robert Crisp

High School: Raleigh (NC) Athens Drive
Recruiting Class: 2010
Rank: ***** (No. 4 OT, No. 42 overall)
Career at NC State: 2010-2014

Home field advantage played a monster role in the recruitment of Rob Crisp.

Like most on this list, Rob Crisp could have all but picked the school he wanted to play at, but NC State had a friendly advantage. Crisp had been living with the Singer family in Chapel Hill/Raleigh for a number of years previously and the Singer family just so happened to be NC State season ticket holders thereby allowing Crisp to literally grow up around the program.

Once the Pack offered his best friend and unofficial brother Pete Singer as a safety Crisp’s recruitment was all but over. The pair committed to the Pack in April of 2009, which played a role in a few other local commitments for State... most notably, Tony Creecy.

When healthy, Crisp was on the field. He started his first game as a true freshman (due to a suspense) and started over the next two seasons.

Two games into his senior year Crisp suffered a season-ending injury and was forced to redshirt. He returned in 2014 and was a vital contributor in the Pack’s turnaround, helping the State go 8-5 with a bowl victory over Central Florida.

He is now preparing for the NFL draft and has been selected to attend the NFL combine.

1. Toney Baker

High School: Jamestown (NC) Ragsdale
Recruiting Class: 2005
Rank: ***** (No. 4 RB, No. 21 overall)
Career at NC State: 2005-2009

Toney Baker finished his prep career as one of the most productive tailbacks in North Carolina history. Nearly every school in the country sent in an offer to the Ragsdale phenom, but Baker cut his list to just local programs. Along the way he would take unofficial visits to Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Tennessee, and NC State and because of those visits Baker would tell reporters he had no need to take official visits.

The writing on the wall in Baker’s recruitment came when he did follow through with an official visit to NC State in December of 2004.

However, Baker didn't make his commitment public until announcing at the US Army All-American Bowl in January of 2005.

His college career began with promise as he put up solid statistics throughout his freshman and sophomore seasons (while splitting time with other talented tailbacks), but in the first game of his junior year Baker suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for two full seasons. During that time Baker endured multiple knee surgeries and extensive physical therapy.

He was finally healthy enough to get a green light for the 2009 season, and he bounced back with a strong year, totaling 773yards and six touchdowns while adding another 355 yards receiving and three scores.

After showing he was fully healthy Baker declined a sixth year of eligibility at NC State to pursue a professional career.

He finished with 2,045 yards rushing and 17 rushing touchdowns as a member of the Wolfpack. He also totaled 65 receptions for 676 yards and four more scores.

Bu, what could have been had it not been for that devastating knee injury?

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