NC State signed four cornerbacks in the class of 2016 so the position was certainly a focal point for the Wolfpack coaching staff. Pack Pride sat down with George Barlow to talk about his new additions and the future of Wolfpack recruiting in the state of Virginia in this Q&A.
You signed four corners in this class. I was hoping you could tell us a little about each starting with Bryce Banks.
Bryce was a really interesting kid because we got on him kind of late in the process. Coach Doeren had a relationship with his high school coach, and he was committed to Missouri so when I watched his film I was really impressed with him. One of the things we wanted to do was get longer with our group because the receivers are getting bigger, faster and we just needed some guys that can match up with them.
You watch his film and he excelled on the offensive end and the defensive end. He's a big kid who, at his size, can transition and what I like about him is he has ball skills which is another factor we were looking to get better at. You know, just making plays on the ball. He has all the things off the field, too along with the gifts he has.
He has a great attitude. He works hard, and he's a guy that I think is going to come in and be willing to make the sacrifice to continue to maximize the gift he has.
Can you talk about J.J. Givens?
J.J. was a good get for us.
Again, like Bryce but not as tall as Bryce, but he's a kid I like because he's so versatile. He did well on both sides of the ball. He's an excellent receiver and a good cover corner. When they had injuries he played some safety.
He's a long, versatile guy and that was kind of the theme for the guys that we actually got. We wanted versatile guys that could play corner. They could play nickel and dime packages. They could play safety, and they have the ball skills to actually make some plays. Those are the kinds of guys you're looking for, and J.J. was definitely one of those guys.
Like I said, he was a really good get because he had a lot of choices but he was a kid that I was on really early.We were one of the first to offer, but then he started to get some offers from the SEC and he kind of went that route but as the process went on he him started to not get caught up in the fluff of everything and decided he wanted to go somewhere that he could fit and where he could maximize his gift.
James Valdez was kind of a forgotten man in this class because he committed so early. What does he bring to the Pack?
Him and I would say that about Tim Glass, too. They were both kids that committed early.
Valdez is a guy that probably deserved more accolades than he had. I'm not sure what the deal was whether he committed early or didn't play in enough all-star games, but he's a versatile guy.
He's probably the shortest of the crew that's coming in, but he makes up for it with his explosion because he's a kid with a knack for the ball. He's very explosive. He's very fast. He has really quick feet, and he's another that can go over and play receiver and pretty good.
But what I like about him most is his attitude. He just loves football and he's a guy that will come in because of his love for the game and tenacity- he'll have a chance to play early.
The final guy is Nick McCloud.
Nick was a late-decision guy. He was a guy that probably flew under the radar even more than James Valdez. He's a guy just like Valdez that I thought should've had more accolades.
He's a 6-2 kid that played well on both sides of the ball. He's physical. He can play nickel. He can play safety and he can definitely play corner. What I like about him is his overall athletic ability. I watched him play basketball and he did well.
So he's a guy because of his off the field stuff that I think he'll have a chance to play early because he has the right attitude and he works at it. He competes and I love to watch him compete in football but he has that same competitive spirit in basketball, and I think he'll be a good addition and will be able to help us.
You also landed Justin Chase out of the Chesapeake area. Will that Chesapeake/Tidewater area become more of a focus for State headed forward?
Yeah, that's what we're hoping because it's so close.
Again, once I took the job I didn't realize it hadn't been a main focus and that was one of the things that I talked to coach Kitchings about letting me do extensively and see if we can get some guys from there. It started with just a couple of junior days with guys coming down and seeing what we had and a lot of guys from up that way didn't realize how nice it was down here, how competitive we are in the league and how the program is rising.
Once those guys started coming down we got some of them to look and tell a few more guys and as they started to come down and see the game day atmosphere and saw the program progressing it created a lot more interest. Now we're hoping with those three or four guys coming in that we'll gain some interest in the area and more guys will come down and take a look.
If we do our part and win games and continue to progress as a program I definitely think we can get more guys to come down to be a part of the Wolfpack.