NC State's Current Situation at Offensive Line: NC State enters 2004 with a very strong corp of offensive linemen, returning six players who have starting experience. Headlining the group are super sophomores LG Leroy Harris and RT Derek Morris. Both came on strong as freshmen last season, and are poised to have all-conference years in 2004. NC State also returns seniors C Jed Paulsen and RG Ricky Fowler. Paulsen may be the conference's best center prospect while Fowler looks to return from a knee injury that hampered him in 2003. Versatile lineman John McKeon will also be in the mix. The junior played every position except center last year for NC State, proving valuable after the loss of Fowler. With that being said, the X-factor could be Senior Chris Colmer, who hopes to return for a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the 2003 season. Colmer was pre-season first team All-ACC, and if fully healthy the talented left tackle could be NC State's best. The Wolfpack signed Junior College All-American Merci Falaise in this year's recruiting class and he hopes to provide even more depth to what is already a very talented offensive line.
Merci Falaise Player Evaluation: Falaise was recruited by several high-major colleges out of high school, but a severe hip injury forced the big-timers to back off. He enrolled at Georgia Military Junior College and started two years, showcasing talents that led to him being named a consensus first-team JC all-american as a sophomore.
On film, Falaise displays good footwork and knowledge for the game. He's a smart lineman who uses his hands well and has good strength. He played left tackle for Georgia Military but projects as a guard at NC State. Good athlete who can pull and trap block effectively. Above-average pass blocker who could be a standout under Mike Barry with the Wolfpack.
What his coach said: "Merci's a great player and prospect. He's started two years for us and has been outstanding. He has the grades and was voted Team Captain. He's what you're looking for in an offensive lineman." - Georgia Military Head Coach Bert Williams
Offensive Line Position Grade/Analysis: (C-) -- NC State targeted several offensive linemen in this class, but was unable to land the big-timers they recruited. Jacky Claude, Nyere Aumaitre, James Thompson, Roland Martin, and Anthony Parker all spurned the Wolfpack for other programs. However, NC State was able to secure a mid-year star in Falaise, an impact-type player who could play early if needed. The Wolfpack also have a strong history of converting defensive linemen to the other side of the ball. Defensive Line signees Brandon Setzer, John Bedics, Demario Pressley, and Lemarte McGhee could all project as offensive lineman on the next level if converted. With the success that former NC State players Sean Locklear and Shane Riggs had, these prospects just might be up for the move.