Key losses...Marcus Hudson
Number signed at this position over the last two years...2
How important was this spot in relationship to other positions...Moderate
Did the Pack meet their needs based on sheer numbers... Grade A
Cornerback was not a critical need for the Wolfpack and that seemed to be reflected in State's relatively small pool of players targeted at this position. Landing two players at this spot seemed to effectively address the depth needs at cornerback.
Did the Pack get their top prospects... Grade B
NC State did not target a large number of cornerbacks in 2005. A couple of the main players the Pack went after and missed on were Ochuko Jenije (Florida State) and Marcus Udell (Alabama). DeAndre Morgan was a major Pack target who earned an early offer from State and committed to the Wolfpack over Rutgers and Ole Miss. Everett Lewis was on the Pack radar all year and once his grades improved the Pack made an offer and landed him.
If sheer speed is what you're targeting then ATH DeAndre Morgan from Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach, Florida had a huge Wolfpack bull's-eye on his back. The blistering-quick prospect turned a 4.26-second hand-timed 40-yard dash and then followed that up with a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the Nike Camp last summer. However, at 5-10, 160 pounds, it's no secret that Morgan will need to fill out before he's ready for the physical play of ACC football. Another key for Morgan will be simply to stay healthy. He was in a car wreck and missed his sophomore season. As a junior he averaged nearly 12 yards every time he touched the ball as a running back and ended up with four interceptions on defense. This past season he missed six games due to a broken arm. What the Pack got was a prospect that can be summed up in three words...fast, faster and fastest. Because he has missed so much time due to injury, Morgan is a raw prospect with a world of potential who simply needs the time to develop and hone his skills. The Pack's depth at cornerback should afford him a chance to break in slowly and learn the position. At the same time, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Morgan could see some time on special teams early in his career.
Everett Lewis from St Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida may have been the most surprising signing of the 2006 class. No one had heard a word of Lewis until a few days before signing day despite the fact the NC State coaches had been on him for some time. Grade concerns tempered State's and other team's interest level and word had Lewis signing a grant-in-aid with NC State versus the traditional letter-of-intent. Lewis has improved his grade situation as the year has worn on and if he can stay on this path, will be in Raleigh next fall. What the Pack got is a player that was utilized quite a bit at safety as a senior, although at 5-11, 175 pounds, will almost surely start out at cornerback for the Pack. With NC State employing an extreme amount of man coverage in it's defensive schemes, Lewis will need time to adjust to the division one game and further learn the position. One aspect of his game that isn't in question is Lewis' head-hunting style. He was tremendous in run support as a safety showing the ability to break down and make sure tackles on his man as well as displaying the instincts to read plays correctly and quickly. Lewis is a player that seems to relish contact. However, the CB position will require finesse as well and that may present a learning curve for Lewis. If he can add some bulk to his frame, there is no doubt that Lewis could grow into a Miguel Scott-type safety.