ATH Jamelle Eugene of Naples (Fla) High School was a virtual unknown to NC State fans just three weeks ago. However, he was a key target of the Wolfpack coaching staff and recently made a verbal commitment to the NC State staff.
"Yeah, I committed to NC State," said Eugene. "I just really liked the coaching staff and how the players really want to win a national championship up there. Coach Amato, I could just tell he's a real honest coach and he's going to tell you like it is. If you can play, he's going to get you on the field. I'm planning to be up in Raleigh in June."
While few folks in North Carolina may have heard of Eugene, he was considered by many observers to be one of the top athletes in the state of Florida. The Orlando Sentinel rated Eugene the No. 44 player in Florida in it's preseason rankings.
The speedy back landed 5A all-state first team honors as a junior. As a senior, Eugene rushed for 1,213 yards and 16 touchdowns in just eight games en route to all-state, all-county and all-district honors.
Eugene seemed destined for Alabama earlier in the year but the Crimson Tide backed off after landing another RB. However, the senior athlete didn't seem to mind as he talked about the possibilities that lie ahead at NC State.
"They're telling me that I might play running back, slot receiver or defensive back," said Eugene. "I'm not looking to redshirt, though. I'm going up there expecting to play next year."
Eugene projects as an academic qualifier with a 3.1 GPA and 820 SAT score and plans to major in Business Management. He was recruited by Pack DL coach Todd Stroud.
Evaluation by recruiting analyst Larry Blustein
THE SCOOP ON THIS FLORIDA KID: After watching the emergence of Duane
Coleman a few years back, you just knew that the Golden Eagles had a talented
football player waiting in the wings after Coleman graduated and moved on to the
EVALUATION: "Had the pleasure of watching him as a sophomore, when he was just starting to come into his own, and again last year, when he made great use of one of the state's best weight-training programs."
Here is an elusive back who makes cuts, rarely loses the football and has the power to run inside as well as the speed to get outside. One of the state's most underexposed major college-level backs ran for over 1,000 yards last season for the 5A runnerups.
THE INSIDE STORY: Could go over 2,000 yards this season with the Golden Eagles expected to advance far into the playoffs. Has gotten bigger and stronger over just the past four months, so you WILL hear plenty about him all season. So will the rest of the country.