NC State Class Breakdown - Defensive Tackles

NC State signed four defensive tackles in the 2004 recruiting class, <B>Demario Pressley, Gerard Miller, Brandon Setzer, and Lemarte McGhee</B>. Here, we breakdown the defensive tackle position at NC State and evaluate Pressley, Miller, Setzer, and McGhee in the seventh position installment of the Wolfpack's class.<P> <B>Coming Thursday - Defensive Backs</b>

NC State Class Breakdown - Quarterback
NC State Class Breakdown - Running Backs
NC State Class Breakdown - Wide Receivers
NC State Class Breakdown - Tight Ends
NC State Class Breakdown - Offensive Linemen
NC State Class Breakdown - Defensive Ends

NC State's Current Situation at Defensive Tackle: It all starts in the trenches and the Wolfpack returns a solid core of defensive tackles. Sophomore John McCargo had an outstanding freshman season, garnering honorable mention All-ACC Honors in his first year. He just might be the ACC's top returning interior lineman in 2004. Junior Dwayne Herndon improved over the course of the season, starting the final five games for NC State. Herndon's an explosive player who when disciplined, can be dominant at tackle. Other players that figure in the mix include junior Kenny Covington and freshman Shane Lucas. Reports suggest that defensive end Maurice Charles could play tackle this season, and he would figure to earn playing time in his sophomore year. Although the Wolfpack is very talented at the tackle positions, they needed to add more depth with the 2004 recruiting class and did just that. NC State signed prospects Demario Pressley, Gerard Miller, Brandon Setzer, and Lemarte McGhee, all who have the ability to play as true freshmen if needed.

Demario Pressley Player Evaluation: The nation's top defensive tackle prospect, Demario has all the tools to be a great college and pro player. He's very flexible and has amazing quickness for a 295-pound prospect. Moves laterally well and is light on his feet. On film he displays great explosion and solid technique. Uses good leverage at times, but can improve on staying low on every play. Uses his hands well to shed blocks and has a good nose for the ball. Overall, he's a premium prospect who is the most likely of the four freshmen to play early.

Film Session: #90 Demario Pressley, #72 Demario Pressley

Senior Season Stats: 10+ sacks

What his coach said: "Quickness is his biggest asset, and with defensive linemen, that's probably the most important thing. He's also very flexible. You don't find many 300-pounders that can do full splits, with 31-inch verticals, that can dunk a basketball with two hands, those kinds of things. I think he's blessed with a lot of God-given athletic ability." -- Greensboro (NC) Dudley Coach Victor Floyd

Gerard Miller Player Evaluation: One of the nation's most underrated prospects, Gerard played his way into a couple of top 100 rankings by the end of the season. He's just a playmaker who every game goes out and does what it takes to help his team win and look like the best player on the field. An outstanding jumbo athlete who could play defensive end or tackle. With a frame similar to NC State's Maurice Charles, look for Gerard to add 20 pounds and be a devastating pass-rushing D-Tackle. He's explosive off the line and has great speed (has been timed at 4.68 in the 40). Sheds blocks with ease and is very strong. Weight-room warrior who has a tremendous work ethic. Saavy player who has natural instincts that are uncanny. One scout described him as "a future team captain at NC State." In my opinion, he has more upside than any defensive tackle NC State signed.

Film Session: #84 Gerard Miller, Shrine: #85 Gerard Miller

Senior Season Stats: 80 tackles and 14 sacks

What his coach said: "The big thing with Gerard is he is a big kid who can run. He can run with any big man in the state. I would not trade him for any D-lineman in the state. A lot of people didn't know about him and some still don't. They are going to be really surprised at what type of athlete he is. I think the people in Raleigh already know a little bit, but I think people statewide are going to be surprised. I have heard so much talk about Demario Pressley and Marque Hall, but I really think Gerard is the better of those three." -- Vanceboro (NC) West Craven Head Coach Clay Jordan

Brandon Setzer Player Evaluation: Brandon is still a little raw, but has so much natural athleticism that all the big-time regional schools were all over him. Explosive drive and leg strength, Setzer plays with great leverage and quickness. Long arms allow him to work as a "swing" (DE/DT) player that can be a valuable asset. At 6'6 and 280 pounds, Brandon could project as a Offensive Tackle, but I like him on defense. Good motor and stays after the quarterback. Some say he may have been the best defensive lineman at Hargrave Military Academy... now that's some high praise.

Film Session: #50 Brandon Setzer

Senior Season Stats: NONE AVAILABLE

What his coach said: "Right now, Brandon Setzer is the best D-Lineman that I've got. He's got leverage, he runs well; he just hasn't been pushed. He is going to be a special player." -- Hargrave Head Coach Robert Prunty

Lemarte McGhee Player Evaluation: NC State's first commitment in 2004, Lemarte didn't have the senior season most expected, but is still a very good prospect. Finished the year with nearly a dozen offers, including Tennessee, North Carolina, and Illinois. McGhee is another tall (6'7), rangy kid that can play inside and plug holes for NC State. Because of his great frame and good footwork, he just might be a better offensive tackle prospect then defensive lineman. Lemarte may have to attend Hargrave Military Academy before enrolling at NC State.

Senior Season Stats: 68 tackles, 7 ½ sacks, four fumbles caused, and five balls batted down

What his coach said: "His most valuable asset to our team is that everybody had to double-team him. Nobody could single block him. That freed up our linebackers to make plays. His numbers don't really show how well he really played for us this year. Once NC State gets him over there and gets him on a program. I think you'll easily see him grow up to a 295-lb. tackle." -- Person Head Coach Mark Lunsford

Defensive Tackle Position Grade/Analysis: (A-) -- NC State landed an outstanding defensive tackle class, headlined by the nation's best in Pressley. Miller, Setzer, and McGhee are all great prospects as well, giving the Wolfpack the depth they need to win in the trenches. However, NC State did miss on several talented tackles, such as Marque Hall, Carl Howard, and Ell Ash. Adding the current signees with what's returning will give NC State it's best group of tackles in a very long time.

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