NC State always looks to land at least one QB in each recruiting class and has reportedly extended scholarship offers to Pat Devlin of Exton, Pa and Tim Tebow from Jacksonville, Fla. Although he's yet to garner a scholarship from the Pack, QB Ross Applegate of Walton, Ga will almost surely be a major target for the class of 2006.
At 6-5, 185 pounds and sporting 4.8-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Applegate made a splash last year in his first season as a varsity starter. Although his passing numbers would be considered modest- Applegate completed 71 of 151 yards for 960 yards and seven touchdowns- yards through the air aren't as critical when you orchestrated an offense that rushed for 3,200 yards. More important is the fact Applegate led his team to the class 5A state semifinals. Equally impressive was Applegate's ability to make plays through the air when his team needed it most. 31 of his completions (44%) were for first downs. For his efforts, the rising senior was named Cobb County offensive MVP- an award won in 2003 by NC State recruit Richie Rich.
So far, Applegate has heard from numerous schools but says NC State, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia are showing the most interest. As it turns out, the Applegates already have connections to North Carolina. Ross' older brother, Michael, is a former TE for UNC and is currently still enrolled in Chapel Hill.
The Pack got a jump on Applegate's recruiting when the talented QB made an unofficial trip to NC State during spring practice. He came away thoroughly impressed with the Wolfpack's program.
"I was really impressed with all of the coaches at State," said Applegate. "They were just great people. When we went up there, they just have a great football atmosphere. In talking with coach Trestman, I can tell he wants to get things done. He's really focused on getting the offense going."
NC State will be making a trip down to Georgia this month to check in on Applegate and then he will follow that up with a return trip to NC State for one day of the Wolfpack's football camp on June 14.
Applegate told Pack Pride that Maryland and NC State are currently the two teams showing him the most interest but he isn't ready to name favorites just yet.
"Really, NC State and Georgia are the only two schools I've seen so I'm just open right now," he said.
In addition to NC State, Applegate plans on camping at Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. He'll be focusing on preparations for a big senior season.
"We lost our top RB so I think we'll be throwing the ball a lot more this year," said Applegate. "I think my footwork and passing ability are pretty good but I definitely need to continue working on both."