NC State did not sign a LB in the class of 2004 so it's obvious that will definitely be a point of emphasis this year. To date, the Pack appears to be high on the list of several top ‘backers including Ryan Stamper of First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Fla, Elijah Hodge of Dillard High School in Miami, Fla and Avery Vogt of Coral Reef High School in Miami, Fla.
Another prospect the Wolfpack is keeping a watchful eye on is LB Artis Warthen (6-3, 205 pounds, 4.6-seconds in th 40-yard dash) of Miramar (Fla) High School.
Warthen is currently rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com and was listed as the No. 61 prospect in Florida earlier this year by recruiting analyst Larry Blustein. He wrote of Warthen, "(Artis) has been used as a defensive end and as an outside linebacker who knows how to play the game. Watching him run in drills will not impress you, but check him out on the football field and you will be sold- right away. This is a big time talent!"
So far, Warthen reports better than a half dozen scholarships offers with Vanderbilt, Central Florida and Kentucky among those. NC State has yet to offer but Warthen made it clear that the Wolfpack is a program he has a ton of interest in.
"Right now I have a lot of interest in State because I feel like they would be a good school for me," said Warthen. "I see that they have a very good football program and I feel like I'd be able to fit in that environment. Plus, I have some family that lives in Raleigh so that would be good."
Warthen has set an official visit with Vanderbilt for Dec. 3 and is also considering NC State, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky and Iowa.
Warthen and his Miramar squad will get a huge test this Thursday night as they take on S Kenny Phillips and DE Ricky Jean-Francois from Carol City.
"We've had a pretty good season," said Warthen. "We've lost five games by a total of 12 points. I think we're going to beat Carol City. I mean, you've got to be confident. In fact, some of their players were over at my house tonight. It's going to be a big game."
Warthen is being recruited as an outside linebacker or strong safety and projects as a full academic qualifier.