Did the Pack meet their needs- (A) Defensive Tackle was not a huge need for the class of 2005 but the Pack did identify several prospects to pursue and managed to come away with two very solid players. Both Alan-Michael Cash and Ted Larsen won't be counted on for immediate contributions- which should give them a great opportunity to learn behind two outstanding DT's in John McCargo and Demarcus Tyler.
Did the Pack get who they wanted- (A-) The Pack only offered three defensive tackles and managed to land two of those. 66% is an outstanding average in recruiting. The only other known player to have an offer was Jeffrey Owens who opted for Georgia.
There wasn't much secret in the fact that DT Alan-Michael Cash (6-1, 280 pounds, 4.9-seconds in the 40) of Varina High School in Richmond, Va was hoping for an NC State offer. The Wolfpack coaches had been in contact with Cash and were in the evaluation process when the all-state selection officially visited Michigan State and committed to the Spartans several days later. Cash reportedly called the NC State staff to tell them of his decision, however, it's quite likely that Cash was hoping the news might speed up a Wolfpack offer. As fate would have it, Cash's phone call paid off. NC State safeties coach Manny Diaz set up an official visit with Cash during the Wolfpack's huge January 14th recruiting weekend and the senior lineman changed his pledge to the Pack just a couple of days later.
Were Cash 6-3 instead of 6-1, he may have been one of the most heavily recruited players in the state of Virginia this past year. Despite not having what some would consider prototypical size for a tackle, Cash still went on to have a fabulous senior season- racking up 63 tackles, 13 tackles-for-loss and six sacks en route to numerous post season awards.
What the Pack got is a player that is extremely well developed for his age. Cash has tremendous lateral quickness and runs extremely well- he was actually named all-district as a tight end. From his defensive tackle position, Cash does a superb job of getting under the opposing lineman and gaining penetration into the backfield. While Cash has some impressive bench numbers, a year to redshirt will allow him the chance to build his lower body and adjust to the rigors of college football.
Ted Larsen (6-3, 260 pounds, 4.9-seconds in the 40) from Palm Harbor (Fla) University is a pretty smart guy. So much so that many recruiting analysts felt it possible Larsen would forego division one football to pursue an Ivy League degree. However, an official visit to NC State on December 10th was all it took for Larsen to decide that Raleigh was the place for him.
Like Cash, Larsen is a player that went unnoticed by the recruiting experts for the most part. However, he did have offers from Georgia Tech, UNC, South Florida and Central Florida in addition to the Pack. Larsen is best described as a physical, aggressive player who is simply a playmaker. He tallied nearly 60 tackles and an impressive 7.5 sacks this past year. Larsen has been timed at 4.9-seconds in the 40 and has good strength. Perhaps most promising in regards to Larsen is the fact he has a super frame and the potential to really blossom after time in State's strength and conditioning program. Quiet off the field, Larsen has a nasty streak when the lights go on and, with time, will become a force along the Wolfpack's defensive line.