Key losses...Fred Span, Tramain Hall, Sterling Hicks, Brian Clark
Number signed at this position over the last two years...3
How important was this spot in relationship to other positions...crucial
Did the Pack meet their needs based on sheer numbers... Grade A+
NC State needed wide receivers in the worst kind of way and completely succeeded in filling those needs by inking six wideouts.
Did the Pack get their top prospects... B
LaMarcus Bond and Owen Spencer were key, in-state players that NC State targeted early and were able to land. Donald Bowens, Jarvis Williams, Darrell Davis and Carlos Everett were all players that received offers later in the year from the Wolfpack but State was able to hold off serious charges from other teams to secure commitments from each. Some of the notables to choose other schools at wide receiver were Johnny Patrick (Louisville), Richard Jackson (Notre Dame), Preston Parker (Florida State) and Greg Mathews (Michigan).
NC State made wide receiver Owen Spencer from North Brunswick in Leland, North Carolina a priority in 2005 and that persistence paid off with a commitment to the Pack in October of last year. What State got was arguably North Carolina's top, pure receiver. Spencer is a solid route runner, has a silky smooth glide while on the move and boasts solid hands. He measured at 6-2, 161 pounds last summer and ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at a Shrine Bowl combine. The knock on him for now would be his slight build but Spencer's long arms and huge hands should help him emerge as a serious pass catching threat for the Wolfpack once his frame fills out. He chose NC State over an offer from Virginia Tech.
Another huge, in-state target was LaMarcus Bond from Hertford County High School in Ahoskie, NC. The Pack stayed hot and heavy on him all year and that paid off with a commitment during an in-home visit in January with head coach Chuck Amato and tight ends coach Curt Cignetti. Bond's strongest suit is his versatility. At 5-9, 180 pounds, the senior athlete isn't the largest prospect but his combination of speed, explosiveness and instincts made him one of North Carolina's most dangerous offensive and special teams threats in 2005. Bond will likely be given a shot to fill a Tramain Hall-type role at NC State, however, it's possible he could see the field a variety of ways from slot receiver to cornerback to special teams. His ability to create in the open field and leave defenders grasping at air is most impressive and he should become a major weapon for the Pack down the road. Bond chose NC State over Virginia and East Carolina. He has some work to do in the classroom to qualify but is certainly in the do-able category.
A few years down the road, Jarvis Williams from Jones high School in Orlando, Florida may just become one of those players that football fans scratch their heads and wonder, where did this kid come from. At 6-5, 200 pounds, Williams boasts 4.58-second speed in the 40-yard dash. He doubled as a standout safety and receiver for Jones and certainly has the potential to play either position in college. However, the opportunity to play wideout is what sold Williams on NC State over offers from Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Houston, East Carolina and Marshall. Most impressive with Williams is his toughness, athleticism and work ethic. He hauled in 40 receptions for 640 yards and 10 scores in 2005 and was considered the No. 25 player in Florida by longtime recruiting analyst Bill Buchalter at the Orlando Sentinel. Whether he ultimately ends up on offense or defense, Williams could prove to be a solid pickup and worthy of more than just a two star ranking in the future.
Physically, Darrell Davis from Pasco High School in Dade City, Fla is almost a carbon copy of the aforementioned Williams. He measured in at 6-4, 200 pounds and boasts a 40-yard dash of 4.61-seconds. Although he didn't blossom until later in his high school career, Davis still managed to rack up close to 700 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a senior. He also came away with scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Central Florida, Michigan State and Louisville, in addition to the Pack. What put State over the top was the promise to let Davis start his college career on offense. What the Pack got was a tall, lanky target that was able to dominate smaller cornerbacks on the prep level with his height and jumping ability. He showed toughness when going across the middle and doesn't shy away from contact. It's worth mentioning that Davis certainly has the potential to eventually line up as a safety or perhaps, grow into an outside linebacker.
Donald Bowens from St Petersburg, Florida was a solid addition to the class of 2006 and may have had the best hands of any wide receiver signed by the Pack. At 6-2, 195 pounds, Bowens is a sizable target. With 4.68-second speed in the 40, he would not be considered a burner but his pass-catching skills are as good as anyone in this year's crop for the Pack. Bowens has super hands and his ability to catch nearly everything thrown his way comes from superb concentration on the ball. He also plays physical and doesn't mind battling for a reception. As a senior, Bowens hauled in 27 receptions for 450 yards and five touchdowns. The senior standout was another player signed by State that also excelled on defense after he was named conference MVP for his play at outside linebacker. Bowens selected the Pack over offers from South Florida, Indiana, Iowa State and Virginia.
The player who impressed us most out of the 2006 signees at wide receiver was Carlos Everett from South Sumpter High School in Bushnell, Florida. At 6-1, 180 pounds and boasting solid, 4.45-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Everett has the physical attributes that could afford him the opportunity to contribute for the Pack early in his career. He is probably the fastest of all the receivers signed and boasts the ability to run at full stride but still shift into another gear to create separation from a defender after the catch. Everett has the explosiveness that causes defensive backs to misjudge their angles and the wiggle to make would-be tacklers miss. As a senior he totaled 66 receptions for 1,280 yards and 26 scores and helped lead his team to a spot in the state championship game. Everett was also selected to the prestigious California-Florida all-star event which showcases the very best talent from the Sunshine State. Everett has some work to do on his test scores and that may have dampened some of the national recruiting interest for this talented wideout. However, reaching a qualifying score is certainly attainable and if that happens, Everett could see meaningful playing time in 2006.