With the 2006 NFL draft now passed, the staff at Pack Pride will take a draft-like look at the prospects NC State is targeting for the class of 2007. We have researched the recruiting needs for the class of 2007 and the early names 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 2007. 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 20th selection.
Pack Pride's pick as the No. 20 selection in the 2006 mock draft is....LB Alex Kaufman
6-2, 220 pounds, 4.77 seconds in the 40 yard dash
Lakota West High School, Chester, Ohio
Scouting report: Although Kaufman didn't put up huge tackle numbers in 2005, we expect you'll see a huge improvement in those totals in 2006. This rising senior has a tremendous frame, a motor that runs non-stop and the ability to wreak havoc in opposing backfields. He is not a burner but shows great football speed and the ability to read plays and react quickly.
The lowdown: Ohio is not an area you would routinely see NC State recruiting. However, after getting a call from Lakota West head coach Larry Cox that he had a defensive end seriously interested in NC State, the Wolfpack wasted no time heading to the midwest. The Pack soon offered DE Solomon Thomas and, while evaluating Thomas, noticed LB Alex Kaufman. State was impressed enough with his impressive build and junior highlights to offer shortly thereafter.
Without a doubt, linebacker is one of the most pressing needs for the Wolfpack in the coming year. Kaufman would likely give them a solid option at middle linebacker if he stays at his current size and helps get them in the door in one of the nation's most talent-rich states.
Kaufman has received offers from Ohio and Toledo but he told Pack Pride that NC State is his top offer in the early going. He will camp at Ohio State this summer and we think it's a no-brainer that the home-state Buckeyes would be the odds on team to beat should they decide to offer. The Wolfpack will obviously try to push all year that they were the first to offer and wanted him before anyone else became seriously involved.
Kaufman has not set a timetable for making a decision but he is a prospect we could see pulling the trigger by the beginning of next season.
Kaufman quote on the Pack: "I was sitting on my bed when coach called and told me NC State had offered," said Kaufman. "I just sat there smiling for like ten minutes because I couldn't believe it. I was on cloud nine for three days because I never thought something like that would ever happen. It was something I'll never forget and being that it was from a school like NC State, that was big."