Pack Pride takes a look at the highs and lows, sleepers and jewels of the class of 2015. With the class of 2015 now in the books, Pack Pride takes a look back at some of the highs and lows, jewels and sleepers of the Wolfpack's latest recruiting effort.
BIGGEST RECRUITING BATTLE WON
There were certainly bigger name battles that NC State won over the course of the last 12 months. The Pack landed Darian Roseboro over Michigan. Emanuel McGirt chose NC State over Georgia. Johnny Frasier switched from Florida State to the Wolfpack.
However, based on sheer need, NC State’s ability to keep Meyers away from Florida was the biggest recruiting win of the year in our opinion.
It’s not that Meyers is a five-star commitment or that there are expectations of him coming in and challenging early for playing time. This was more about the huge void left when former commit Austin King decided late in the process to decommit from State and sign with Indiana.
Headed into 2015 with just two scholarship quarterbacks, NC State had to land a signal-caller in this class. Just like the Wolfpack, Florida was desperate for a quarterback and made an offer to Meyers during an in-home visit. Hailing from Georgia and the heart of SEC country, Meyers mulled the opportunity and word leaked that he was oh-so-close to making an official visit to Gainesville. However, the Wolfpack coaches talked him out of it and he remained firm with NC State.
Had he ultimately visited Florida and decommitted from NC State, the Pack would’ve been in desperation mode trying to land a quarterback of any talent with just a couple of weeks left in the recruiting cycle. Because of that, Meyers was the biggest recruiting battle won in 2015.
(Past Winners: Jalan McClendon, Matt Dayes, Kenderius Whitehead, Mike Rose, David Amerson, Asa Watson, R.J. Mattes, Desmond Roberts, Kyle Newell)
ONE THAT GOT AWAY
This is one that will resonate with NC State fans for quite a while. The Pack wanted just one cornerback in the class of 2015 and made Hughes the only prospect under consideration for that spot.
State recruited him relentlessly and while Hughes didn’t make a lot of visits, he did seem to show up in Raleigh more than anywhere else. Hughes had a couple of teammates already in Raleigh. Heck, he wore NC State wristbands. Hughes drove to the Shrine Bowl with NC State walk-on Duncan Musselwhite and told several current Wolfpack commits he was headed to NC State.
Apparently that was just lip service because shortly after the Shrine Bowl he announced his decision to commit to UNC.
We often wondered if Hughes’ official visit to State could’ve played a role in his decision. He visited for the Boston College game which was an absolute disaster. Whatever the case, losing Hughes to UNC was a big miss for the Pack.
(Past Winners: Trevion Thompson, Asiantii Woulard, James Summers, Vad Lee, Reggie Wilkins, Edwin Herbert, Nick Becton, Matt Simms, Dorian Munroe)
Olenga was all but forgotten for 90% of the recruiting year but academic strides made late in the year landed him on the list of several colleges.
Olenga was super productive as a senior and that’s even more impressive when you consider he really hasn’t participated in much meaningful strength and conditioning as a high schooler. He is raw and has succeeded based almost exclusively on natural ability.
When Olenga gets into a college-level strength and conditioning program and begins to learn the ins and outs of a defensive end, look out. His potential is through the roof and he legitimately has the potential to be as good as he wants to be.
(Past winners: Marcelias Sutton, Pharoah McKever, Desmond Owino, Maurice Morgan, Theo Rich, Darryl Cato-Bishop, Ahmad Jaradat, Audie Cole)
You could make an argument for any of a number of guys- Johnny Frasier, Emanuel McGirt, Darian Roseboro, Reggie Gallaspy. However, there’s just something about Hines.
The first thing that comes to mind is versatility. He can play the slot. He can line up out wide. He can take jet sweeps. He can line up in the backfield. He can return punts and kickoffs. All of this equates to a player that could potentially have a huge impact on NC State and sooner rather than later.
But beyond his skill set, the other part of the equation is that Hines is a great person. He’s a tireless worker with a tremendous attitude. Finding a player with that combination of physical and mental attributes is rare.
On the football field Hines has it all. He’s not just quick. He’s also fast. Hines has incredible balance, explosiveness and ability to make people miss. Wolfpack offensive coordinator Matt Canada has to be salivating when he thinks about the multitude of ways he can integrate Hines into the Wolfpack offense in 2015.
(Past Winners: Kentavius Street, Matt Dayes, Kenderius Whitehead, Nik Sade, Rob Crisp, Bryan Underwood, Mike Glennon, George Bryan, Andre Brown, TA McLendon, Mario Williams, DeMario Pressley)
Scout.com believes there are 62 middle linebackers in the class of 2015 that are better than Nicholson. They also feel there are 10 better from the state of Florida alone.
We think Nicholson is going to prove they were wrong and in a big way. The first part of the equation is that he enrolled in January which will give him a head start on the upcoming season. Secondly, he is a workout warrior that thrives in the weight room so he’ll maximize his physical ability. Throw in the fact that he’s relentless on the football field and you’ve got the recipe for a player that could have a huge impact on NC State football over the next several years.