This week we take a look at the backs that State appears to have the best shot at landing as things stand currently. Although there is plenty of talent already on the roster, the Wolfpack will look to add valuable depth in the offensive backfield. Although no players are set to graduate, many feel that RB TA McLendon could be a candidate to make himself eligible for the 2005 NFL draft.
- NC State loses after 2004 season:
Running Backs- None
-How many QB's the Pack may try to sign in 2005:
1 or 2
-How many RB's the Pack may try to sign in 2005:
at least 1
The Pack's best bets- NC State has offered and appears to have the best shot at the following:
QB Chris Todd (6-3, 190 pounds, 4.7 in the 40) Elizabethtown (Ky) HS
Recruiting notes....Todd camped at State over the summer and has built a solid relationship with Pack OC Noel Mazzone. The schools in play are NC State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and UNC although the Heels may have fallen off a bit. Oklahoma has ramped up their interest lately and could pose a serious challenge should they offer. A commit could come at any time and we feel State holds a slim lead currently. Todd will be in Raleigh on his official visit during the weekend of the Miami contest...Recruiting Rating....2-star prospect
RB Richie Rich (5-10, 180 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Wheeler (Ga) High School
Recruiting notes....Rich has stated on numerous occasions his desire to play in the state of Florida, however, an offer from FSU or Miami looks unlikely as things stand now. Rich has been extremely high on the Pack for months and will officially visit on Oct. 23. The main competition may ultimately end up coming from Oklahoma but we like the relationship Rich and OC Noel Mazzone have forged. Several schools have talked to Rich about playing DB but the Pack's insistence on bringing him in as a RB have kept State near the top. Has had a tough start to his 2004 season with nagging injury.....Recruiting Rating....4-star prospect
The Pack is a serious contender- NC State has reportedly offered and looks solid to get an official visit but has serious competition from several teams.
RB Toney Baker (5-10, 215 pounds, 4.45 in the 40) Ragsdale HS, Jamestown, NC
Recruiting notes...Two months ago Baker was in the "best bet" category. However, the arrival of Bobby Washington may have created just enough depth at RB to completely open up Baker's recruiting options. The major players here appear to be NC State, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. UNC and Clemson are in the mix as well but may behind the other four schools. Proximity to home will be a consideration as will depth at RB. With a commit from RB Elan Lewis, Virginia Tech may have taken a hit although it is unlikely the Hokies will call off the dogs. Tennessee has depth at RB that is comparable to NC State's. Virginia's depth may be a bit more attractive but, while RB Dick Portee is a major selling point for NC State, conversely, an inexperienced RB coach at Virginia could potentially hurt their chances. When all is said and done, we think it'll boil down to Tennessee, Virginia or NC State. The Pack will have to convince Baker that he will get a chance to contribute early....Recruiting Rating....5-star prospect
RB Antone Smith (5-8, 185 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Pahokee (Fla) HS
Recruiting notes...Along with Baker, probably heads up the top two spots on the Pack's wishlist of running backs. Coach Amato and coach Holliday have done a fabulous job recruiting Smith but the pressures to stay in Florida could prove too much to overcome. Miami leads with some insiders suggesting Smith a Cane silent commit already. Florida State also looks extremely strong. The Pack should get an official visit but it will probably take three factors to sway him to Raleigh. The Pack will need a huge season that garners them national attention. Smith will have to be convinced, like Baker, that he can come in and contribute in a big way from the beginning as depth at his position will be huge. Lastly, State will need a super official visit to lure him out of Florida.....Recruiting Rating....5-star prospect
RB/FB Conredge Collins (5-11, 220 pounds, 4.5 in the 40) Pace HS, Miami, Fla
Recruiting notes...Collins is a bowling ball of a prospect that is a load to tackle. May project as a FB given his size. Collins actually made an unofficial visit to State over the summer that helped ensure they should stay in the race throughout. However, the hometown Canes look awfully tough here as do the Noles. State should get an official visit and expect them to stay on Collins throughout the year....Recruiting rating....3-star prospect
QB Cameron Sexton (6-2, 180 pounds, 4.4 in the 40) Scotland County HS, Laurinburg, NC
Recruiting notes...Grew up a UNC fan but only recently started looking at the Heels more seriously. Has already officially visited Clemson. Made numerous trips to NC State. We think Florida State may lead by a whisker although UNC could make a serious push depending on their coaching situation. Virginia Tech and NC State are serious contenders as well but it's been difficult to judge what the Pack's chances might be. Publically, Sexton says he's open equally among NC State, Florida State, Clemson, UNC and Virginia Tech. Proximity to home and depth could play a factor but the Noles may be able to overcome both of those obstacles.....Recruiting Rating....3-star prospect
The Pack's watching- NC State has not offered any of these prospects but they're good enough that they could possibly earn an offer at some point.
RB Andre Pope (5-11, 205 pounds, 4.5 in the 40) Ft Hill HS, Cumberland, Md.
Recruiting notes...Pope currently favors UNC, Clemson and Virginia Tech. State has been involved but not offered as of yet and, as a result, have been off and on in Pope's top five. Should the Pack decide to get serious, they could emerge as a major player. As things stand now, we think VT is strong...Recruiting Rating...2-star prospect
RB James Arnold (5-11, 180 pounds, 4.5 in the 40) Davie County HS, Mocksville, NC
Recruiting notes....Huge NC State fan who has stated numerous times that he would love to play for the Pack. State has been involved but not heavily. Reportedly, quickness is a concern but a big senior season could up the Wolfpack's interest- especially if they miss on other targets rated higher. Auburn, Clemson, East Carolina, UNC and Wake Forest are the major players. Recruiting Rating....3-star prospect
QB Carlton Jackson (6-3, 190 pounds, 4.5 in the 40) Ely HS, Pompano Beach, Fla
Recruiting notes....Camped at State and Ohio State over the summer and those two lead although neither have offered. Jackson is a good athlete and landed a couple of smaller school offers. Playing in a high profile area of south Florida, he will have every opportunity to impress this fall....Recruiting Rating....2-star prospect
Names to keep in mind- The Pack isn't quite as strong here or the prospect is committed to another school, however, we'll be tracking them just in case.
RB Mike Davis (5-10, 210 pounds, 4.45 in the 40) Columbia (SC) HS
Recruiting notes...Insiders say Clemson leads. Publically, Davis has given no hints as to who his top schools are. Pack has reportedly offered so until State isn't mentioned, we'll leave him here....Recruiting Rating....4-star prospect