Wolfpack Inks 24 In Homegrown Class

NC State head coach Chuck Amato announced the signing of 24 players in his 2005 recruiting class. The Wolfpack bolstered its front lines on both sides of the ball, inking seven offensive linemen and seven defensive linemen. The class is also spotlighted by 10 players who prepped in the state of North Carolina.

"We are very excited about this year's class," said Amato. "We feel that we have really solidified our offensive and defensive lines and have also added some very talented skill players. I've always said that we need to build a fence around this state and keep our players at home, and we feel very good about signing 10 young men from North Carolina."

The class, which includes one player who has already enrolled at NC State, three junior college players and a transfer, is a large one. Thirteen players are listed as 6'4 or taller and eight weigh in at 280 or more.

Geographically, seven players from Florida, three from Pennsylvania, two from Virginia and one each from South Carolina and Delaware will join the North Carolinians.

Toney Baker
Running Back •5-10 •218
Jamestown, N.C. •Ragsdale

A Parade All-American ...Played at Ragsdale High School for coach Tommy Norwood ...Finished his high school career as the state's all-time leading rusher, breaking former NC State rusher T.A. McLendon's record by over 1,000 yards ...Finished with 10,220 rushing yards, third highest in national high school history ... Rushed for 3,030 yards and scored 38 touchdowns as a senior ...National high school player of the year nominee after his senior season ... Rushed for 3,411 yards as a junior and 2,007 yards his sophomore season ... His junior season rushing total is second-best single-season total in the history of North Carolina high school football, while the senior-season total is seventh ...Started for the East in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in January ...Also a Shrine Bowl selection ...Ran 14 times for 52 yards and a touchdown in that game ... A SuperPrep All-American ... 2004 EA Sports All-America selection ... SuperPrep's Mid Atlantic Offensive Player of the Year ...First-team 2004 Fox Sports Net Countdown to Signing Day All-South Team ...State champion as a junior in the shot put with a toss of 54'11.75" ... Father, Tony, played football at East Carolina and in the NFL ... Rated as North Carolina's top prospect by many publications ...Scout.com rates him the No. 5 running back nationally ... No. 22 player in the nation as well by Scout.com ...The No. 2 RB in the nation by Tom Lemming and No. 3 by Rivals.com and PrepStar.

Amato on Baker: "Toney is a complete player - the total package. He has great character and a great work ethic and we are really looking forward to him helping us win."

Andy Barbee
Offensive Lineman •6-4 •290
Shelby, N.C. •Crest

Played center in mostly a shotgun offense for coach Roy Kirby ...Selected first-team all-state by the Associated Press ...Helped lead Crest to the 3AA state championship as a senior ... Crest also won the state championship his junior season, winning 40-0 in championship game ...Graded out with an average 80 percent with 10 knockdown blocks as a junior ...Earned all-conference honors as both a senior and junior ...Competed in the Shrine Bowl and took every snap as the starting center for North Carolina ...Benches 350 pounds and squats 400 ...Carries a GPA of 4.25 ...Rated the No. 24 prospect in North Carolina by Scout.com.

Amato on Barbee: "Andy is a true center and we haven't signed a true center in many years. Coach Barry is very excited about him. He's smart and tough."

Andre Brown
Running Back •6-2 •220
Greenville, N.C. •Greenville Rose
Hargrave Military Academy

Originally signed with NC State in 2004, but spent last season at Hargrave Military Academy ...No. 13 prep school player nationally according to Rivals.com ... Graduated from Greenville Rose High School for coach Greg Thomas ... North Carolina's Associated Press Player of the Year in 2003 ... Rushed for a state record 3,479 yards as a senior in 2003 ... Averaged more than 12 yards a carry that year ...Led Greenville Rose to a state 4-A title during his senior season in 2003 ...Scored 47 career touchdowns ...Third-team 2003 Fox Sports Net Countdown to Signing Day All-South Team ... Announced his decision to attend NC State on Fox Sports Net South's "Countdown to Signing Day" TV show in Atlanta ... Was the No. 10 running back nationally according to Rivals.com ... Rated the No. 19 prospect in the region and No. 7 in the state by Rivals.com.

Amato on Brown: "Andre is big, fast, and physical. But he's also mature because he's a year older. I think that he can be a big impact player for us."

Quentin Brown
Defensive End •6-6 •245
Orlando, Fla. •Edgewater

Played at Edgewater High School for coach Bill Gibrke ...Helped lead team to Florida's 6-A state championship as a senior ...A two-year starter as a left offensive tackle ... Also played on the defensive line ... Rated the No. 37 offensive tackle nationally by Rivals.com and rated the No. 54 prospect in Florida according to Rivals.com.

Amato on Brown: "Quentin Brown is a great `get' for us. He is tall and rangy - he's one of those players that I can't wait to coach."

Alan-Michael Cash
Defensive Tackle •6-1 •280
Richmond, Va. •Varina

Recorded 63 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and six sacks as a senior at Varina High School for coach Gary Chilcoat ... Recovered four fumbles ... A second-team all-state choice by the Associated Press and first-team by the Virginia high school coaches ...All-region defensive player of the year by the high school coaches ... Earned all-district, All-Metro and all-conference honors that season ...Played two years of high school basketball ...Also throws the shot put on the track team.

Amato on Cash: "Although he may not be as well-known, he is a very physical and very aggressive player. He has played with his hand on the ground and we are looking forward to having him in our program."

Curtis Crouch
Offensive Lineman •6-6 •320
Fayetteville, N.C. •E.E. Smith

A three-year starter at offensive tackle at E.E. Smith High School for coach Milton Butts ...Also saw action at defensive tackle ...Helped E.E. Smith go 12-3 and reach the semifinals of the 4-A state playoffs during senior season playing right tackle ... Earned first-team All-Cape Fear region and Two Rivers 4-A Conference honors ...Graded out at an average 85 percent as a junior ...Recorded eight sacks as a junior and was an all-area selection ...Competed in the Shrine Bowl ... A SuperPrep All-American ...The starting center on his school's basketball team ... Teammate of current Wolfpack defensive tackle Tank Tyler at E.E. Smith ...Second-team 2004 Fox Sports Net Countdown to Signing Day All-South Team ...Rated the No. 9 offensive tackle nationally, and the No. 63 player overall by Rivals.com ... Scout.com rates him the No. 18 offensive lineman nationally ... No. 10 offensive lineman nationally by PrepStar and No. 21 by SuperPrep ...Rated the No. 4 prospect in North Carolina by Rivals.com, No. 6 by Scout.com, and No. 7 by SuperPrep.

Amato on Crouch: "Curtis was one of the most highly recruited players in the state of North Carolina. He has all the tools to be a great player and we think that he has a chance to play early in his career."

Jamelle Eugene
Defensive Back •5-9 •187
Naples, Fla. •Naples

Rushed for 1,213 yards and 16 touchdowns his senior season at Naples High School for coach Bill Kramer ... Averaged over 11 yards a carry ...Finished with 1,932 yards and 17 touchdowns in 15 games as a junior ...Also caught two touchdowns ...Helped lead team to state championship game that season ... Class 5A All-State first-team selection as a junior, and second-team as a senior ... 2003 Naples Daily News Broxson Trophy winner, that award is given to the area's best football player ...Ranked No. 44 player in Florida by Orlando Sentinel.

Amato on Eugene: "Jamelle is very skilled, strong and fast and can play a lot of different positions. He played running back in high school but will play defensive back for us. He played in an excellent high school league."

Mike Greco
Quarterback •6-3 •199
Lighthouse Point, Fla. •Cardinal Gibbons

Pronunciation: GRECK oh
Played at Cardinal Gibbons for coach Mike Morrill ...A lefty quarterback that completed 34-of-98 passes for 397 yards and two touchdowns ... Also ran for 186 yards and another score ... Team posted a 4-5 record during his senior season ...Missed the first two games of his season season with a broken pinky finger ... Passed for 820 yards, rushed for 350 yards, and had a combined 11 touchdowns as a junior ...The ninth-rated dual-threat quarterback nationally by Rivals.com ... No. 60 player in Florida according to Rivals.com ...Scout.com rates him the No. 31 quarterback nationally ... Rated as the No. 53 player in Florida by SuperPrep and No. 76 by Fort Lauderdale's Sun Sentinel.

Amato on Greco: "Mike is an athletic quarterback who ran one of fastest times at Miami combine. He's also a much better thrower than people think. He really impressed us in our camp."

Chad Green
Defensive End •6-5 •240
Rocky Mount, N.C. •Northern Nash/Hinds CC

Originally signed with NC State in 2003, but spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss. ...A 2004 NJCAA First-Team All-American ...Led Hinds to a 9-2 record and a No. 9 final ranking in the 2004 NJCAA Poll ... Rated as the No. 86 JUCO player by SuperPrep ...Graduated from Northern Nash High School ...Lined up at linebacker, wide receiver, tight end and defensive end during his career ...Caught 22 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns in an injury-shortened senior season ... Tallied 130 tackles and 14 sacks as a junior ...Named to the all-city, all-conference and all-area teams for three straight years ... A SuperPrep All-American coming out of high school ... Was rated the No. 15 weakside defensive end by Rivals.com and was the No. 12 player by Rivals.com in North Carolina ... Was rated the nation's No. 22 linebacker by SuperPrep.

Amato on Green: "Chad has all the measureables. He fits the mold of a Manny Lawson or a Mario Williams with his height and size. He was an outstanding player in his JUCO league."

Geron James
Wide Receiver •6-4 •180
Wilmington, N.C. •Ashley

Pronunciation: JERE uhn
Played at Ashley High School for coach Dylan Dimock ...Caught 43 passes for 920 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior ...Also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns ...Two-way player who also saw action at safety ...Had 23 catches for 308 yards and two touchdowns as a junior ... Tallied 47 tackles and three interceptions that season ...Teammate of fellow NC State signee Levin Neal at Ashley High School ... Rated the No. 23 senior in North Carolina by PrepStars, No. 29 by Rivals.com and No. 31 by SuperPrep.

Amato on James: "Geron reallly exciteds me. He can jump, he's got good hands and he is as big a wide receiver as we've had here since Koren Robinson. I think he's going to be a big-time player."

Brandon Jeffries
Offensive Lineman •6-5 •313
Shelby, N.C. •Crest/University of Tennessee

Spent the 2003 and 2002 seasons at Tennessee and then attended Cleveland County Community College in 2004 ... Will have two years to play two seasons at NC State ... Played sparingly at Tennessee as a reserve offensive lineman in 2003 ... Redshirted the 2002 season for the Volunteers ... Played for coach Roy Kirby at Crest High School ... Selected first-team All-America by Parade, SuperPrep, PrepStar, Riddell Footwear, Borderwars.com and Student Sports ... Listed in the Charlotte Observer's Top 50 in the Carolinas ... Named first-team all-state as a senior by North Carolina Sportswriters ... Had more than 100 pancake blocks during junior and senior seasons combined and graded out at better than 91 percent during both campaigns ... Holds school record for pancake blocks in a season (52) and had 124 for career ... His team compiled 35-3 record over his career with all three losses coming in the playoffs ... Helped lead team to state runner-up finish and 14-1 mark as a senior ... Also standout for basketball and track & field teams ... Was the No. 2 offensive guard and the No. 19 player overall accoring to Rivals.com coming out of high school.

Amato on Jeffries: "We would have loved to have had him three years ago, but things happen for a reason. He has two years of eligibility left, but he has been through a structured program for two years and that is a huge plus. He's gained weight so he is big and physical."

Garrett Kline
Offensive Lineman •6-7 •315
Hawley, Pa. •Wallenpaupack Area HS/Lackawanna JC

Spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons at Lackawanna Junior College in Scranton, Pa. where he was coached by Mark Duda ...Named to the first-team offensive squad of the NJCAA preseason All-Americaa team prior to the 2004 season ... No. 31 JUCO player according to SuperPrep ...Played right tackle for four years in high school, and left tackle for two years at Lackawanna ...Teammate of fellow NC State signee Littleton Wright at Lackawanna ... Rated the No. 24 junior college player nationally according to Rivals.com ...A 2003 graduate of Wallenpaupack Area High School ... An all-area choice as a senior.

Amato on Kline: "Garrett is another player that we feel has a chance to work his way into our two-deep. He is mature, big, and strong."

Matt Kushner
Defensive End •6-4 •250
Bethlehem, Pa. •Bethlehem Catholic

Played defensive end at Bethlehem Catholic for coach Chuck Soson ...Tallied a team-high 114 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior ...Recorded 65 solo stops ...Forced three fumbles and blocked blocked punt ... Recovered one fumble for a touchdown ...Earned all-state, all-area and all-league honors ...Also a three-year starter on offense ... Helped his team post a 7-5 record and earn a playoff berth ... High school teammate of fellow NC State signee Kyle Newell and redshirt freshman John Bedics.

Amato on Kushner: "When we first saw Matt, he was playing basketball and we could see that he is big and can run like the wind. He is really a diamond in the rough - he just has so much potential, and was coached really well fundamentally."

Ted Larsen
Defensive Tackle •6-3 •260
Palm Harbor, Fla. •University

Played at University High School for coach Mike June ... Racked up 58 tackles as a senior, including 12 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks ... Also blocked a kick ... Named All-Pinellas County and All-Sun Coast team ...Tallied 37 solo tackles and one sack as a junior ...Bench presses 375 pounds ... Carries a GPA of 3.8 ... His father played defensive end at Wichita State in the 1960s.

Amato on Larsen: "I think we will see a lot of Ted in the upcoming years. He is a physical, strong kid."

Jeraill McCuller
Offensive Lineman •6-7 •330
Chesapeake, Va. •Atlantic Shores Christian

Pronunciation: juhr ELL
Played at Atlantic Shores Christian for coach Rob Atwood ... Played both on the offensive and defensive lines ...Named first-team all-state among private schools as a senior ...First player from Atlantic Shores to be named to the All-Tidewater team ...Also played basketball ...No. 24 player in Virginia according to SuperPrep.

Amato on McCuller: "Jeraill is the biggest lineman we've signed since Derek Morris. He's very young - he won't be 18 until next September - but he has a tremendous upside."

Ray Michel
Linebacker •6-1 •218
Fort Myers, Fla. •Fort Myers

Pronunciation: mee SHELL
Finished with 127 tackles, including 65 solo tackles, and six sacks as a senior at Fort Myers High School for coach Sam Sirianni ... Named Florida's 4-A Player of the Year by the Florida High School Athletic Association ... Received the `Head Hunter' award for leading the county in tackles as a senior ... A three-year starter ...His high school's all-time leader in career tackles and career sacks ...Also set the county public schools career tackles mark ...From the same high school as current Wolfpack wideout Richard Washington.

Amato on Michel: "Ray is fast and aggressive. But even better, he is instinctive. He will be a great addition to our linebacking corps."

J.C. Neal
Wide Receiver •6-1 •185
Sumter, S.C. •Lakewood

Played at Lakewood High School for coach Greg Crolley ...Rushed for 1,401 yards and scored 19 touchdowns as a senior, he also caught nine passes for 117 yards ...Returned 10 kickoffs for 355 yards, and two for touchdowns ... Recorded 88 tackles and six PBUs on defense ...Also blocked a punt and returned it for a score ...Was the 3A back of the year in South Carolina ... Earned all-state and all-conference honors ...Tallied 169 rushes for 937 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior ... Also had 34 tackles and one interception on defense ... A SuperPrep All-American ...Named to the Shrine Bowl as a safety, he earned defensive MVP honors after recording two second-half interceptions ... Rated the 12th-best athlete nationally and No. 3 prospect in South Carolina according to Rivals.com ...Scout.com rates him the No. 18 safety nationally ...Ranked the No. 8 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep, and the No. 26 wide receiver nationally.

Amato on Neal: "To get a kid out of the state of South Carolina with his reputation is a big feather in our cap. J.C. is an impact player and could play a lot of positions for us."

Levin Neal
Wide Receiver •5-11 •185
Wilmington, N.C. •Ashley

Played at Ashley High School for coach Dylan Dimock ...Broke his ankle in a preseason scrimmage prior to senior season and played in just three games ...Caught 45 passes for 840 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior ... Also returned a kickoff for a touchdown ... Despite playing in just three games, was invited to the Shrine Bowl following senior year ...An all-conference choice in basketball as a junior, averaging 14 points and eight rebounds ...Teammate of fellow NC State signee Geron James at Ashley High School ...Rated the 47th wide receiver nationally by Rivals.com ...Rated the No. 15 player in North Carolina by Rivals.com, No. 19 by PrepStars and No. 26 by SuperPrep.

Amato on Neal: "Levin is very quick and explosive and can make big plays. He impressed us in our camp and we are excited about his potential."

Kyle Newell
Wide Receiver •6-5 •220
Bethlehem, Pa. •Bethlehem Catholic

Played both defensive end and wide receiver at Bethlehem Catholic for coach Chuck Soson ...Pulled down 38 catches for 660 yards and scored eight touchdowns as a senior, including a 90-yard TD catch ...Also tallied 64-1/2 tackles and 5-1/2 sacks ... Nominated for the Maxwell Award, which goes to Pennsylvania's top player ...Helped team go 7-5 and earn a playoff berth ... Racked up 80 tackles and five sacks as a junior ... Also had 15 catches for 230 yards that year ...Recorded 70 tackles and 8.5 sacks as a sophomore ...A SuperPrep All-American ...Named all-state by Pennsylvania Football News ...Named all-area and all-league for three straight years ...Two-time Morning Call all-area player ...Named The Express-Times Player of the Year, he was also receiving interest from many Division I basketball teams ... Averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds as a junior during basketball season ... Scored his 1,000th career point in December of his senior year ...High school teammate of fellow NC State signee Matt Kushner and redshirt freshman John Bedics ... Rated the No. 13 defensive end nationally by SuperPrep and ranked the No. 24 strongside defensive end nationally by Rivals.com ...The No. 8 prospect in Pennsylvania according to Rivals.com, No. 6 by SuperPrep and No. 5 by Scout.com.

Amato on Newell: "We are fortunate to have gotten Kyle. He is definitely the type of player who can come in and make an impact."

Doug Palmer
Offensive Lineman •6-3 •290
Fayetteville, N.C. •Douglas Byrd

Played at Douglas Byrd High School for coach Bob Paroli, who played for the Pack in the 50s ...Earned all-conference honors as both an offensive guard and a defensive tackle as a senior ... Named to the Fayetteville Observer's All-Cape Fear region team ...A Shrine Bowl selection ...Bench presses 400 pounds, he pressed 275 pounds 17 times in a row ...Competed in track as well.

Amato on Palmer: "We got interested in this young man after watching his practice habits at the Shrine Bowl. He's very aggressive and fundamentally sound. "

Avery Vogt
Linebacker •6-1 •223
Miami, Fla. •Coral Reef

Pronunciation: VOTE
Played at Coral Reef high school for Frank Ponce ...Played linebacker for the first time as a senior, he was a defensive end earlier in his career ...Finished with 88 tackles, three sacks and one interception in seven games as a senior ... Played fullback early in the season ... Tallied 62 tackles and seven sacks as defensive end as a junior ...Played in the Dade-Broward County All-Star game ... The starting center on his high school basketball team ...Carries a GPA of 3.6 ...Rated the No. 51 senior in Florida by SuperPrep and No. 70 by Rivals.com ... Rated the 36th inside linebacker nationally by Rivals.com and the No. 76 player in Florida according to Fort Lauderdale's Sun Sentinel.

Amato on Vogt: "Avery is a linebacker from South Florida who is very much in the same mold as a Patrick Thomas or Stephen Tulloch. He's very fast and very instinctive."

Julian Williams
Offensive Lineman •6-4 •290
New Bern, N.C. •New Bern

Played at New Bern High School for coach Chip Williams ...Selected to the AP all-state team as a senior ... Helped lead team to a 12-2 record and the third round of the state playoffs ... Allowed no sacks as a junior, his team posted a 14-2 mark and played for the state championship that year ...Earned all-conference honors that season ... Selected to the Shrine Bowl, but missed the game with a knee sprain ...Rivals.com lists him as the No. 27 guard nationally ...Also rated the No. 16 player in North Carolina according to Rivals.com ... Scout.com rates him the No. 57 offensive lineman nationally ...Rated the No. 16 prospect in North Carolina by Scout.com and No. 28 by SuperPrep.

Amato on Williams: "Julian is another that we think will work his way onto the two-deep early in his career. We are tickled pink to have him."

Littleton Wright
Defensive End •6-6 •245
Georgetown, Del. •Sussex Central/Lackawanna CC

Spent the 2004 season at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa. where he was coached by Mark Duda ...Led league with 9.5 sacks in 2004 ...Named to the second-team defensive squad of the NJCAA preseason All-America team prior to the 2004 season ...Teammate of fellow NC State signee Garrett Kline at Lackawanna ...Listed as the top-rated JUCO defensive end by insiders.com ... Attended Sussex Central High School in Georgetown, Del.

Amato on Wright: "Littleton is very good pass rusher and we think he can help us in that area very quickly. He's vey aggressive and plays hard."

Willie Young
Defensive End •6-5 •215
West Palm Beach, Fla. •Palm Bch Gardens/Hargrave

Enrolled at NC State in January after originally signing with the Pack in 2004 ...Spent last season at Hargrave Military Academy ...Recorded 47 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks and 13 QB pressures at Hargrave ...No. 18 prep school player nationally according to Rivals.com ...Tallied 65 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 11 games as a senior ...Racked up 60 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and nine sacks as a junior ...Also averaged a double-double in basketball (10 pts and 12 rebs) and finished fourth in the high jump at the state championships ...Played in the CaliFlorida Bowl after senior season ...Also played in the Florida-Louisiana Classic where garnered defensive MVP honors after making two sacks and forcing a fumble ... Was rated the No. 14 weakside defensive end nationally by Rivals.com ... Named one of the nation's top-10 weakside defensive ends by SuperPrep.

Amato on Young: "Willie should probably be redshirted but we won't be able to because of how good he is. He is like a that has played defensive end all his life. He is definitely a good one."

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