Gone in 2006 will be NC State WR's Tramain Hall, Brian Clark and Sterling Hicks. The three have earned a combined 38 career starts and their departure will leave a huge hole in the Wolfpack's receiver corps. Without a doubt, adding depth and speed at the wideout spot has taken on extreme importance for the NC State coaches in 2005.
One of the names the Pack has placed a premium on is WR Greg Mathews from Edgewater High School in Orlando, Fla. The rising senior hauled in 26 receptions for 397 yards and four touchdowns en route to all-county honors. College scouts love Mathews' 6-3, 190 pound frame and, although he doesn't have blazing speed, his 4.6-second time in the 40-yard dash combined with his height makes him a major obstacle for any undersized defensive back.
Mathews' potential as a WR has led to offers from numerous schools including Florida, LSU, Michigan, NC State, Ole Miss and Ohio State. While Miami and Michigan have enjoyed an early lead, Mathews told Pack Pride that two other schools have made a serious move over the summer.
"Yeah, Miami and Michigan have been out front but LSU and NC State have really showed me something over the summer and they've really turned it up," said Mathews. "There really isn't too much difference between any of them right now."
The Pack's need at WR hasn't gone unnoticed by Mathews and it's a program he plans to learn quite a bit more about over the coming months.
"I really like NC State," he said. "They had the number one defense which means, as a wide receiver, you're going to get a lot of opportunities. They've got three senior wide receivers this year which means I'll get a chance to help out early. I was looking through the media guide and I was noticing they like to go after tall wide receivers and that's something I can relate to.
"Also, I really like the WR coach there, coach Dixon and, of course, Quinton Brown is already up there so that would help me be more comfortable. Coach Amato has just showed me a lot of attention from the beginning. You talk to some head coaches in the spring and then you don't hear from them again but coach Amato has shown a lot of interest and he's always sending emails to my dad."
While the Pack has made a move, Mathews has a solid top four and it appears each will have a decent chance to land his commitment.
"Right now my top four is Miami, Michigan, LSU and NC State," he said. "If I had to choose my official visits today, I'd visit Michigan, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia and NC State. The only visit I've got set up so far is with Ohio State for the Texas game. I don't plan to make any official visits to the in-state schools"
When it comes time to make a decision, some may think the chance to contribute early would be an obvious choice for Mathews. However, he says he has other priorities for selecting a school.
"Really, I would come in and play if I was needed but I think I'd like to come in and redshirt for a year," said Mathews. "That would give me a chance to adjust to college and get my body right and get my class work in order. I think what I'm really looking for are good coaches that can get the most out of their players and really know how to push their players."