The staff at Pack Pride is always looking for new and improved ways to provide recruiting coverage. With the NFL recently completing their 2005 draft, we started wondering what an NC State draft might look like if such an event were possible. So, we started researching the recruiting needs for the class of 2006 and the top prospects that the Pack has targeted to meet those needs. We compiled all the information and came up with, who we believe to be, 20 of the most important recruits for 2005. We've ranked them in order based on talent and the Wolfpack's need at each position and will work backwards from No. 20 to No. 1. As always, the info provided in this report is solely the opinion of the staff at Pack Pride and is in no way connected with any actual recruiting board of the coaching staff at NC State. Today we highlight our pick for the Pack's 14th selection.
Pack Pride's pick as the No. 14 selection in the 2005 mock draft is....PK/P Nathan Franklin
PK/P Nathan Franklin
5-11, 160 pounds
Hoggard High School, Wilmington, NC
With just one scholarship kicker on the roster in John Deraney, NC State will definitely be looking to target a PK/P in the class of 2006. The departure of Tyler Lewis left the Pack in a numbers crunch at the position and filling his spot will likely be a priority during 2005.
One of the top candidates to fill that spot is Nathan Franklin. He is generally considered to be the best kicker in the state and a likely choice to represent North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl later this year. At least one national kicking scout considers Franklin to be one of the top five kickers in the country.
Although Franklin isn't known for having a booming leg, he is technically sound and very accurate. As a junior he connected on 7 of 10 FG's- averaging 33 yards per kick with a long of 47 yards. He also averaged 39 yards per punt and 90% of his kickoffs were touchbacks.
So far this month, Franklin has gotten calls from Tennessee and LSU. Pack cornerbacks coach Greg Williams stopped by to check on Franklin and he reportedly has a scholarship offer from Michigan State although that has not been verified.
The Pack may get their best chance to impress Franklin and vice versa when the rising senior camps at NC State in June. State will be using the camp to evaluate a potential kicker to offer, with Franklin and a couple of kickers from Virginia headlining the list. We certainly won't be surprised if Franklin comes out of the camp as the Wolfpack's guy for 2006.