The StateFans Preliminary Top 20 List

NC State football recruiting is off to an impressive start and we break down the prospects showing the most interest in the Pack in the early going.

StateFans takes a preliminary look at the 20 prospects showing the most interest in NC State and reporting a scholarship offer from the Pack. The player order is based on their interest in the Wolfpack with the No. 1 player showing the most interest. This list is based on feedback from each player and is in no way related to any recruiting list of the NC State coaching staff.

1. OL Julian Williams (6-4, 290 pounds, 5.0 in the 40) New Bern (NC) High School

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 15 in NC...Recruiter-Manny Diaz....Camp-Yes...Commitment time frame-anytime...Offers-NCS...Project as-OT....Notes- Williams injured his knee as a junior and many schools have taken a wait-and-see approach. However, State loves his potential and the Pack has been his favorite for months. Missing on Williams would be a major surprise as things stand now.

2. ATH JC Neal (5-11, 180 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Lakewood High School, Sumter, SC

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 10 in SC....Recruiter-Dick Portee...Camp-Yes....Commitment time frame- end of football season...Offers-12+....Project as-WR....Notes- Neal is one of SC's top backs and a player that Coach Portee has made a great connection with. Neal likes the fact State wants him on offense. Says State and Virginia Tech lead but we think State could very well get him if they keep up the heat.

3. ATH Richie Rich (5-9, 180 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Wheeler High School, Marietta, Ga

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 20 in Ga.....Recruiter-Noel Mazzone....Camp-No....Commitment Time Frame- Before senior season....Offers-12+....Project as-ATH....Notes- Rich loves Pack offense and said it reminds him of St Louis Rams. Adamant about playing offense and basically considering only schools that will keep him on "O". Planning unofficial visit to State this summer. Maryland and State lead.

4. RB Toney Baker (5-10, 215 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Ragsdale High School, Jamestown, NC

Rating- Consensus All-American RB and consensus No. 1 player in NC....Recruiter-Curt Cignetti....Camp-doubtful.....Commitment time frame- After senior season but wouldn't be surprised if it came sooner....Offers-30+.....Project as-RB....Notes- Baker has made numerous unofficial visits to NC State and seems most attracted to the coaches and fan interest. Has several friends already at State. Baker showed quite a bit of interest in replacing TA McLendon in the Pack's running game. Although he maintains a top five of NC State, UNC, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Virginia- we think the Pack may very well be a silent leader with Virginia possibly being the top threat as things stand now.

5. OL Curtis Crouch (6-5, 305 pounds, 5.2 in the 40) EE Smith High School, Fayetteville, NC

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 15 in NC.....Recruiter-Curt Cignetti.....Camp-Possible.....Commitment time frame- later in the year.....Offers-NCS, OKL, ECU, VT, UVA.....Project as-OG or OT....Notes-Crouch has listed the Pack as a slight leader for weeks although Oklahoma is a strong choice as well. Pack DT Demarcus Tyler could help the Pack's chances.

6. TE/DE Jonathan Hannah (6-4, 265 pounds, 4.79 in the 40) South View HS, Hope Mills, NC

Rating- All-American prospect and top 10 in NC.....Recruiter-Mike Barry.....Camp-Yes....Commitment time frame- later in the year.....Offers-17....Project as-DE or OG....Notes- Son of Pack player that played under Amato. State has consistently been mentioned at the front of Hannah's favorite's list for months although he is non-committal to a top school. Unless something drastic happens we think State has a super chance to land Hannah in the end although the road could be bumpy along the way.

7. ATH Montario Hardesty (6-0, 195 pounds, 4.45 in the 40) New Bern (NC) High School

Rating- All American and top 10 in NC.....Recruiter-Manny Diaz....Camp-Possible.....Commitment time frame- later in year.....Offers-12.....Project as-S or RB....Notes- Hardesty has been a major Pack target since the year began and they'll hope that early interest pays off in the end. Although he has maintained a rather open stance, most feel he quietly favors NC State and Florida State although the Noles have yet to offer. A commitment to NC State from teammate Julian Williams could help the Pack The more visits NC State can convince Hardesty to take to Raleigh will only help later in the year. Short of an FSU offer, we believe State the team to beat.

8. LB Geno Hayes (6-1, 215 pounds, 4.5 in the 40) Madison County High School, Greenville, Fl

Rating- Consensus All American and top 15 in Florida....Recruiter-Reggie Herring.....Camp-No....Commitment time frame- Hayes says before end of season but we think it'll go well into next year....Offers 24+.....Project as-OLB or MLB....Notes- Hayes had listed NC State as his favorite in numerous interviews before declaring USC his favorite in an interview last week. Because of that, we dropped him down the list but it's hard to imagine the Pack fell off the truck in the span of 10 days. In any event, Hayes is a major Pack target at a major position of need for 2005 and he'll most likely be on the radar for the next six or seven months.

9. PK Justin Sparks (6-3, 175 pounds) Briarcrest Christian, Memphis, Tn

Rating- One of nation's top 10 kickers....Recruiter-Noel Mazzone....Camp-Yes.....Commitment time frame-potentially by August....Offers-Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and NC State....Project as-PK....Notes- The Pack has offered just one kicker and will probably not offer another until they find out what Sparks will do. He favors Ole Miss and NC State and a potential camp trip to State in July could make or break the Pack's chances. Sparks is from the heart of SEC country which could create an obstacle for the Wolfpack's chances but as things stand now, it appears they have a 50-50 shot at landing him.

10. ATH Re'Quan Boyette (5-10, 183 pounds, 4.45 in the 40) Fike High School, Wilson, NC

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 20 in NC....Recruiter-Manny Diaz.....Camp-Yes.....Commitment time frame-later in year.....Offers- NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, East Carolina....Project as-RB or DB....Notes-Some would have thought that a Pack offer would have propelled State to the top of Boyette's favorite's list but that hasn't been the case, at least not publically. A UNC fan growing up, Boyette says that he is completely open and we haven't heard anything to suggest that isn't the case.

11. S Antonio Wardlow (6-1, 200 pounds, 4.5 in the 40) Parkland High School, Winston-Salem, NC

Rating- Probably 3-star prospect and top 10 in NC....Recruiter-Curt Cignetti.....Camp-Yes....Commitment time frame- later in year.....Offers-12+....Project as-SS....Notes- There is some confusion over whether State has actually offered but we decided to list him because we think the Pack most likely will at some point if they haven't already. Wardlow has maintained a very open stance on favorite schools but quietly, we think State, Tennessee and Michigan may be the teams to beat. The Pack could really make a jump after Wardlow camps at State in July.

12. DE/TE Everette Brown (6-4, 235 pounds, 4.7 in the 40) Beddingfield High School, Wilson, NC

Rating- All American prospect and top 5 in NC.....Recruiter-Manny Diaz....Camp-Yes....Commitment time frame.....later in year....Offers-15+....Project as-DE....Notes- Super prospect with great size and athleticism. Has seen stock soar over the spring and early summer. Brown has been completely neutral on favorites but we really like State's chances "if" he decides to stay in-state. That "if" currently looms very large.

13. OL Simon Codrington (6-7, 255 pounds, 5.2 in the 40) S Miami (Fla) High School

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect....Recruiter-Doc Holliday.....Camp-Yes.....Commitment time frame- later in year.....Offers-12.....Project as-OT....Notes- Pack has reportedly recruited Codrington the hardest and that, combined with a camp trip to NC State, will hopefully put State in a position to land Codrington later in the year. As with nearly any big-time prospect from Florida, the Pack will have to go through Miami although we don't believe Codrington to be a major Cane target at this point.

14. LB Deveon Simmons (6-0, 210 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Landstown High School, Va Beach, Va

Rating- All American prospect and top 5 in Va.....Recruiter-Manny Diaz.....Camp-No.....Commitment time frame- Before senior season.....Offers-25+......Project as-OLB....Notes- State and Virginia Tech have been one-two for Simmons for weeks but the cold reality is that it has been next to impossible for the Pack to pull major targets out of the Virginia Beach area. This has been basically a VT feeding ground for years. With that said, LB is a major need for the Pack and the offer of early playing time could certainly be a draw for State. To have any chance, State will have to get Simmons is Raleigh over the summer.


15. ATH Jordan Hemby (5-11, 175 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Freedom High School, Morganton, NC

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 25 in NC. Recruiter-Mazzone or Portee....Camp-Yes....Commitment time frame-later in year.....Offers- NC State and Clemson....Project as-CB.....Notes- Super quick prospect that could project at a number of positions. Has not hinted towards any favorites so it was difficult to put him any higher on this list. We think as the season goes along Hemby will progress towards the top however.

16. ATH Levin Neal (5-11, 185 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Ashley High School, Wilmington, NC

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 20 in NC....Recruiter-Greg Williams.....Camp-Yes....Commitment time frame-later in year.....Offers-8.....Notes- Would probably be higher on list except for fact Neal has mentioned a desire to play out of state on several occasions. As State stays on him throughout the year, we think the Pack will emerge as a major player.

17. OL Christopher Barney (6-6, 330 pounds, 5.6 in the 40) Northwestern HS, Miami, Fla

Rating-All American prospect and top 20 in Florida....Recruiter-Doc Holliday.....Camp-Unknown....Commitment time frame- later in year.....Offers-12+.....Project as-OT....Notes- One of Florida's top OL prospects who hopes to play college ball with teammates Dustin Forston and Leron King. Historically, wanting to go to a team that offers your teammates has not panned out on most occasions. Miami is a huge leader for Barney currently with Ohio State, Oklahoma and NC State rounding out his top four. Will take quite a bit of work for State to overcome the Canes.

18. WR Josh Briscoe (6-3, 175 pounds, 4.5 in the 40) Burns High School, Lawndale, NC

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 15 in NC....Recruiter-Dick Portee.....Camp-No.....Commitment time frame-any time.....Offers-12......Project as-WR....Notes- State was second school to offer but seemingly hasn't recruited as hard as some others. Favored Tennessee in the early going and with friend Jonathan Crompton committing to the Vols, one would have to think UT could be the team to beat. Has been very tight-lipped on favorites but there hasn't been anything to suggest State has more than a slim chance as things stand now. Virginia could be a player as well.

19. LB Ryan Stamper (6-3, 215 pounds, 4.6 in the 40) First Coast High School, Jacksonville, Fla

Rating- Probable 3-star prospect and top 75 in Florida....Recruiter-Reggie Herring.....Camp-potentially.....Commitment time frame-later in year.....Offers-12+.....Project as-OLB....Notes- We really like the fact that Pack LB coach Reggie Herring is recruiting Stamper and that could pay off when Stamper reportedly makes an unofficial visit to State later this summer. Favored Auburn after camping there earlier this month. As with all LB's this year, State will certainly sell early playing time. We think the potential is there for the Pack to really move up with Stamper over the coming weeks.

20. DE Kyle Newell (6-5, 235 pounds, 4.6 in the 40) Bethlehem Catholic (Pa) High School

Rating- All American prospect and top 5 in Pa.....Recruiter-Greg Williams......Camp-No......Commitment time frame-later in year.....Offers-25+.......Project as-DE....Notes- Although Newell has been non-committal on favorites, we like the Pack's chances to get an official with him later in the year. Virginia, Penn State, Maryland, Virginia, Pittsburgh and Tennessee are some of the other major schools involved. Having former teammate John Bedics on the NC State roster could play a factor as well.

Potential future additions

DT Jeffrey Owens- Camped at NC State but Pack has not consistently been mentioned as a favorite.

S Dorian Munroe- Has not been offered as of last report but good chance State will offer if they haven't already.

WR Mike Moore- Not reporting an offer from State but could very well receive one when he comes to camp in July.

LB Jamar Cotton- Could move up but not much is known about Cotton at this time

LB/DE Gerald Williams- Some confusion over exactly which programs have actually offered. He could be a player that moves up in the future however.

DE Vladimir Richard- Pack on the tail-end of his top five right now and will have to make up some ground.

RB Antone Smith- Pack is probably one of his top two or three schools and will most likely get an official visit. However, we think the Miami lead to be large enough to keep him out of the top 20.

WR Doug Smith- Smith could become a major Pack target as the year progresses but we will have to acquire more information on him before he cracks the top 20.

OL Michael Oher- Pack has been in and out of Oher's top five and landing teammate Justin Sparks could help. However, we think it'll be tough to get him out of the SEC.

S Kenneth Phillips- We think it very possible State could land an official visit with Phillips but when all is said and done we think it unlikely he leaves the state of Florida.

LB Elijah Hodge- Miami and Iowa (brother plays for Hawkeyes) lead and we think beating those two could be tough as things stand now. However, State could very likely land one of his official visits which could certainly help the Pack's cause.

CB Chris Chancellor- Another player that's very interested in State but unless Florida State backs off, we think the odds are greatly in the favor of him being a Nole.

OL Ronnie Wilson- State has had success at Ely High School in the past. Rumors had Wilson committing to OSU but those may have been premature. State could move up if he makes it to camp this summer.

Pack Pride Top Stories