NC State hosted it's annual junior day event this past Saturday with many of the region's top prospects taking in the Pack's basketball contest with Virginia Tech. Junior day is the unofficial kickoff for the upcoming recruiting year and gives players a chance to see the NC State facilities, hear about the Wolfpack football program and interact with the State football coaches. Pack Pride has a breakdown of several high school headliners in attendance.
Mammoth OL Carl Johnson (6-6, 335 pounds, 5.0 seconds in the 40) from Southern Durham (NC) High School is already receiving mention as the state's top prospect for the class of 2006. He boasts early offers from schools around the nation and is considering Florida State, NC State, Miami, USC, UNC and Virginia Tech among others. Johnson's trip to NC State Saturday was just one of several unofficial trips to Raleigh over the last year or so.
Another of the local area's top athletes was on hand as well. RB Josh Adams (5-11, 185 pounds, 4.5 in the 40) from Cary (NC) High School will be a major Pack target all year after finishing 2004 with 2,884 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns. He projects as a top 10 prospect in NC and is looking at UNC, NC State, Tennessee, Virginia and Duke in the early going.
WR Owen Spencer (6-3, 185 pounds, 4.5 seconds in the 40) from N. Brunswick High School made the trip to State and will be one to watch all year. He has good size and speed, not to mention outstanding hands. He racked up 23 catches for 531 yards and eight TD's last year and is a two-time all-county award winner.
The Pack will continue to target offensive linemen and Hutch Eckerson from Lumberton (NC) High School will be a name to remember in 2005. At 6-6, 260 pounds, Eckerson boasts 5.2-second speed in the 40 and has a tremendous frame and long arms. He was named all-conference as a sophomore and junior and will be a four-year starter this year.
Another offensive lineman that was on hand was OL Alex Stadler (6-6, 300 pounds) from Liberty High School in Bealeton, Va. Look for Stadler to emerge as one of Virginia's most sought after prospects with Virginia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Penn State, Nebraska, Florida and Virginia getting early mention. Stadler is also a member of the National Honor Society.
S David Erby's trip to NC State this weekend was a productive one as he reportedly came away with a Wolfpack offer. At 5-11, 185 pounds and 4.5 second speed in the 40, the Rock Hill, SC native will be one of the Palmetto State's top prospects in 2006. He's also looking at South Carolina, Clemson and Virginia Tech. Given State's needs in the secondary, expect the Pack to be all over Erby the entire year.
Looking for a blistering fast defensive back? Then look no further than RB/S Darius Gaither (6-0, 180 pounds, 4.4-seconds in the 40) from Fairfield, SC who was in Raleigh this past weekend. Gaither tallied 90 tackles and seven interceptions last year. He collected four INT's in one game last year and returned two of those for scores. Gaither is hearing from Clemson, South Carolina, NC State, Auburn, Florida State and Tennessee. He is also a track star.
Look for DL Sam Patterson from Richlands (SC) Northeast High School to be one of the top defensive linemen in South Carolina this year. Patterson, 6-3, 260 pounds, sports an impressive 36-inch vertical leap. Last season he tallied 57 tackles, six sacks and 10 QB hurries. Patterson is currently looking at South Carolina, Clemson, NC State, Michigan, Penn State and Georgia.
You'll be hard pressed to find a more talented duo of brothers than DL Ronnell (6-3, 230 pounds, 4.65 seconds in the 40) and LB Donnell Brown (6-0, 230 pounds) from Hickory (Va) High School. Both have received mention as top 15 prospects in the state of Virginia. Ronnell collected 72 tackles and five sacks last year en route to all-region and all-district honors. Donnell earned all-district honors as a FB and LB in 2004. The Browns are currently looking at Virginia Tech, NC State, Syracuse and Georgia Tech.