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 13th selection.
Pack Pride's pick as the No. 12 selection in the 2005 mock draft is....LB Matt Wright
6-2, 215-pounds, 4.6-seconds in the 40
Phoebus High School, Hampton, Va.
NC State has churned out great linebackers during the Amato era, but have yet to land a four-star linebacker prospect under Chuck Amato's watch. The coaching staff's ability to take underrated prospects such as Dantonio Burnette, Pat Thomas, Oliver Hoyte, and Stephen Tulloch and mold them into ACC standouts proves they can develop talent at the position. With a thin group of returning linebackers, is this the year NC State's able to land some highly-rated linebacker talent?
One prospect the Wolfpack has its eye on early is Hampton (Va.) star Matt Wright.
Wright has started three straight years on the varsity level at Phoebus High School, a rarity at the powerhouse Virginia prep program. After dominating at defensive end as a freshman and sophomore, Wright moved to linebacker in 2004 and finished the season with 124 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions.
On the recruiting front, a host of programs have offered Wright during the May evaluation period. NC State, Virginia, North Carolina, Marshall, Kent State, Maryland, and West Virginia have all put forth scholarship offers, but Virginia Tech, a program with strong ties to Phoebus has yet to offer. Tech already has a quality group of young linebackers so maybe the position is not a priority for the Hokies, but given Wright's talent they'll certainly be keeping an eye on him in '05. Another factor weighing in VT's favor is Wright's brother, D.J. Parker, is a starting safety for the Hokies.
At this point, NC State's in great shape thanks to the efforts of Wolfpack safeties coach Manny Diaz.
"NC State made a great impression on me," Wright said a few weeks back. "They are in need of linebackers and that position is really open if I go there.
"I've started since I was a freshman at Phoebus, so I want to go to a place where I can play right away. I'm not against redshirting, but I want to be on the field, and I see that at NC State the chance to do that is definitely there."
Look for NC State, North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech to battle for Wright's services, and one lucky program will land an impact player at the linebacker position.