Pack Pride Roundtable Discussion

From time to time the Pack Pride staff will entertain questions from our subscribers in a roundtable discussion. Occasionally we'll have our regional recruiting analysts drop by to share their input and today ACC Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit joins us to answer some questions.

(Griff17matt) With our stable of running backs currently wearing the red & white, why are we going after so many running backs this year? Toney Baker, Antone Smith, Montario Hardesty, J.C. Neal, Richie Rich… etc. they all have offers. Is the staff preparing for the departure of T.A. McLendon and the graduation of Josh Brown? Given the talent level of our running backs, do you suppose we might throw in some of the veer offense? I'd love to see Blackman, Brown, Baker, and/or Davis on the field at the same time.

James Henderson: I think you see NC State going after so many running backs because often times a high school's best athlete plays running back. It's likely that all of the players you mentioned will NOT stay at running back on the next level because of their versatility and NC State's recruiting some as such. Remember a few years back NC State landed Ray Robinson, Koren Robinson, and Brian Williams all in the same class and all three were great high school running backs. Only Ray Robinson stayed at the position while the other two moved to wide receiver and defensive back respectively and are now NFL standouts. Under Amato NC State's made the effort to recruit the best athletes possible and is continuing to do that with the '05 class.

I don't think their recruitment has as much to do with losing McLendon or Brown as it does bringing in quality players that can fill needs. All of those mentioned can do just that. Also, don't expect the veer offense anytime soon at NC State… they have some pretty good wide receivers too.

Steve Williams: NC State has suffered with a very thin RB corps ever since Amato's arrival in Raleigh. But not only considering the depth issues, State will target a number of RB's each year knowing that more than likely you won't land more than one or two in a given class. It's also worth pointing out that players like Montario Hardesty, Richie Rich and JC Neal could potentially project at positions other than RB. Perhaps the most ironic aspect of the whole story is that over the last four years, NC State produced it's most prolific passer of all-time and became recognized as a pass-happy team that spread the ball all over the field. However, while State has struggled somewhat in QB recruiting, they've had quite possibly their best four-year run ever at signing RB's.

Miller Safrit: Teams normally go after running backs, but they are not necessarily destined to end up at that position. Neal, who is a wide receiver, and Hardesty are probably better suited to play cornerbacks than any position based on their hip swivel and tough approach to the game. The Pack may also try to get another back in the mold of a Tramain Hall who can carry the ball, but is destined to play receiver and find the open field.

(Cltpack1) Here's a question concerning the jumbo athlete's that we are recruiting. While I feel that Everette Brown and Kyle Newell will ultimately be most effective as DE's and Jonathan Hannah could be a stud TE or DE, where do you project them? Also what are the odds of us landing each at this stage of the game?

James Henderson: All three of those players are terrific jumbo athletes and can play a number of positions like Anthony Hill and Gerard Miller from last year's class. I would project Brown and Newell as defensive ends and Hannah as an offensive guard or possibly defensive tackle, but that's just my opinion. Brown and Newell still have time to grow into their frames and Hannah is already 250 pounds but is very lean. He can easily put on another thirty solid pounds and maintain his quickness.

If I had to give odds on landing these three, I'd say Hannah, Brown, and Newell in that order.

Steve Williams: From what we know now, Everette Brown is being recruited as a DE as is Jonathan Hannah. Kyle Newell has reported that we are recruiting as a WR although we haven't been able to verify that. In my opinion, Newell and Brown project better at TE than Hannah. I could see Hannah eventually ending up at OG.

Miller Safrit: I think both Brown and Newell are defensive ends with great athletic ability and a frame to grow while Hannah would be perfect on the offensive side of the ball at either offensive line or tight end, depending on how he grows after high school. Brown and Newell are very close in athletic ability, while neither can tough the strength of Hannah. The Pack looks great with all three.

(PackFootballRules) How many OL recruits will we take this year?? 5? 6? Also, are we looking at any JUCO OL prospects this year?? Thanks.

James Henderson: I think NC State would love to land at least four offensive linemen given the graduation of Chris Colmer, Ricky Fowler, and Jed Paulsen. This year's class has several big-time offensive line targets and NC State's in great shape with Julian Williams, Curtis Crouch, Michael Turkovich, and Ronnie Wilson among others.

I haven't heard of any JUCO targets just yet, but those names always pop up later in the year anyways… see Merci Falaise.

Steve Williams: There are not any JUCO OL targets on the board that we're aware of. However, we typically see information on these type players begin to come in around October or November once it becomes clearer what their academic standing is.

I feel that State will take between 3-5 OL this year. In the early going, NC State may very well be in the best shape it's been in over the last four years in regards to landing true high school OL.

(WSpreadPack) Recent allegations of recruiting impropriety ( Lemming, TechSidelines/Mike Farrell) have me wondering about the potential ramifications these allegations might have on the future of recruiting websites like What are the guidelines in which team sites must adhere (ie, can Steve and James be boosters? etc...) in order to prevent NCAA infractions against their school? Could this possibly lead to potential NCAA regulations of recruiting websites?

James Henderson: Actually there really are no guidelines that team sites or recruiting services must adhere to. Some of these services will argue that they are just as professional as certain newspapers and they may be right, so it becomes a situation where you can't really restrict any publication from calling recruits. I can't see any regulations from the NCAA in the near future because I think it would be too difficult to determine who can be regulated.

Before I began working with Pack Pride I went through a "clearing" process with the NC State compliance office to learn all the rules and make sure everything we did at Pack Pride would be by the book. One thing I like to do is call recruits from "The Insiders" as opposed to "Pack Pride" so they won't associate me with any team site or certain program.

Hopefully the new magazine and media access to Wolfpack athletics will allow us to continue growing as a media outlet and become considered more than a "fan site."

Steve Williams: The guideline is that there are no guidelines. Recruiting sites operate on an unspoken honor system. Currently the NCAA has no authority over internet sites and legally, they never will. However, they could put some type of pressure on the individual teams although it's hard to imagine how you could hold a school responsible for what an internet site does. When I first began covering recruiting for NC State, I spoke with the AD for compliance at State. I explained to him what I did and he in turn told me the do's and dont's. I am not a booster and record nearly all of my interviews to protect against any accusation that I ever made comments that could be construed as being Pro-NC State. Usually the last sentence I say to a prospect is that I wish them the best of luck in recruiting regardless of which school they choose.

Miller Safrit: As soon as the recruiting article against Tom Lemming came out, I started hoping that the NCAA would not take inappropriate actions. That said, it is nearly impossible for them to keep credentialed members of the media from speaking with recruits. I believe that given the nature of college football, with rivalries and hatred growing daily, to simply say someone has impropriety in speaking with recruits is easy. The tough part for the NCAA is finding actual evidence against or for someone. That said, I would be shocked for them to actually look into the fan sites. They will most likely keep the role of enforcement in the hands of the schools themselves to make sure boosters, and anyone for that matter, are not crossing the line.

(BigBadWolf81) Do you see anymore coaching changes prior to the start of the FB season?

James Henderson: I don't see anymore changes before the season.

Steve Williams: I don't foresee any more.

Pack Pride Top Stories