NC State's Current Situation at Tight End:
NC State is absolutely loaded at tight end, returning all four underclassmen from last season. Junior T.J. Williams is a rising star in the ACC and will contend for all-conference honors. Williams could be the most athletic tight end in the league and one of the nation's best talents. Junior John Richter also earned playing time last season and sophomore Roddy Long could be in the mix this year as well. Last season NC State was able to redshirt freshman tight end Jamesley Jean, a player some consider the most naturally gifted tight end on the roster. NC State signed both Hargrave (VA) Military's Anthony Hill and Hollywood (FL) Chaminade's Octavious Darby in this recruiting class. Both have the ability to see the field as true freshmen and complament each other well.
Anthony Hill Player Evaluation: On film Anthony impresses you with his sheer athleticism and the ability to excel as a blocker. Standing 6'6/6'7 and 250-260 pounds, he's a long, lean athletic prospect who is physically imposing as a tight end. Very strong and blocks like an offensive lineman wiith a mean streak. Didn't have many chances to catch the ball at Hargrave, but reports suggest that he's a capable pass-catcher.
Athletically, Anthony could project as a tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle, or even offensive tackle on the next level, but he will begin his career at NC State as a tight end. I think he could be one of the more underrated signees for the Wolfpack, given his natural athleticism and the versatility to help in a number of areas.
Hill Senior Season Stats: NONE AVAILABLE
What his coach said: "Hill is 6-7, 255 pounds with great speed. He is a big time player." - Hargrave Military Head Coach Robert Prunty
Octavious Darby Player Evaluation: Similar to T.J. Williams, Darby is your natural tight end prospect, having the ability to both catch the ball and block. He's an above-average receiver, showcasing great speed and very good hands for a tight end. Working out of the Wing-T offense at Chaminade, Darby was also a good blocker. He uses solid technique and leverage to handle defensive ends and linebackers on the edge.
At 6'4 235 pounds, Octavious needs to add some weight to his frame, but once he does I think it will be hard keeping him off the football field. He's a very, very talented prospect who is a natural at tight end.
Darby Senior Season Stats: 17 receptions, 297 yards, 4 TDs
What his coach said: "Octavious is just a great athlete at Tight End. He has soft hands, runs great routes, and people like him because we spread him out to receiver and use him in a lot of ways. His versatility is what colleges really like about him." - Chaminade Head Coach Mark Guandolo
Tight End Position Grade/Analysis: (A+) -- With tight end not being a huge need this recruiting season, NC State was able to land its top two targets in Octavious Darby and Anthony Hill. Darby spurned the likes of Miami, Florida, and Virginia Tech to sign with NC State while Hill chose the Wolfpack over North Carolina, Clemson, Mississippi State, and Virginia Tech among others. Both players were very highly recruited yet chose to play in Raleigh where capable tight ends already reside.
NC State Signees Octavious Darby and John Dunlap
Photo Courtesy of the Miami Herald