Did the Pack meet their needs- (B-) The Pack did not sign a LB in 2004 so there was more importance placed in filling spots in 2005. Admittedly, this year's class was extremely thin- particularly when targeting OLB's. State did land two quality backers, but given the numbers that the Pack targeted- landing at least one or possibly two more may have been optimum.
Did the Pack get who they wanted- (D) There's no doubt that NC State was thrilled to land Avery Vogt and Ray Michel. Unfortunately, the Pack missed on numerous LB's throughout the year, only serving notice that 2005 takes on even more significance in regards to filling spots at this position. Several of the names the Pack went after but missed were Ryan Stamper (FLA), Gerald Williams (TENN), Geno Hayes (FSU), Derek Nicholson (FSU), Eric Houston (MIA), Deveon Simmons (VT), Jamar Chaney (UGA) and Brent Davis (USC).
One coincidence in recruiting this past year was the fact that West Virginia and NC State apparently looked for many of the same qualities when scouting LB's. Both of the Pack's signees at that position selected the Wolfpack over an offer from the Mountaineers.
LB Ray Michel (6-1, 218 pounds, 4.6-seconds in the 40) from Ft Myers (Fla) High School was all but an unknown to NC State fans until early January. However, to observers in Florida, Michel was one of the most productive and impressive linebackers in the state. He was named 4A state player of the year- a prestigious award in a state loaded with all-star talent.
What the Pack got is a player, much like former LB Pat Thomas before him, that simply gets the job done. Most impressive are his instincts and ability to read the play quickly and then shed blocks to get to the ball carrier in a hurry. Not the biggest of ‘backers but Michel more than makes up for that with impressive explosion and speed to the play.
Michel will obviously have to get bigger and stronger- as all prospects do entering college but this player seems to typify several of the defenders head coach Chuck Amato has groomed over the years into top notch players. He will most likely start out at OLB and has the physical tools and tenacity to become a good one before he's done at NC State.
If you're looking for a player who's just about done it all on the high school level, then LB Avery Vogt (6-1, 223 pounds, 4.65-seconds in the 40) of Coral Reef High School in Miami, Fla is your guy. During his high school career he's played middle linebacker, outside linebacker, defensive end and even fullback.
This past year was Vogt's first at LB after spending the majority of his prep career at DE. At NC State he may likely play MLB and will have one of the conference's best in Oliver Hoyte to learn from.
In Vogt, NC State landed a physically-impressive, hard-hitting prospect who is still learning to play the LB position. He showed that he was more than up to the task of moving to ‘backer as he racked up 89 tackles, three sacks and one interception in just seven games as a senior.
Like so many players from the region, Vogt is simply a player that eats and sleeps football. He has good speed and athleticism but will obviously have to learn the nuances of being a LB on the collegiate level, particularly in pass coverage.
Overall, Vogt and Michel are solid prospects that will not be expected to come in and make a huge impact right away. However, both have the ability and potential to become playmakers for the Wolfpack in the years to come.