With ten commitments already in the fold, Pack Pride takes a look at ten more of NC State's most wanted prospects to help fill out the class of 2007. While the Pack has dozens of prospects on the radar with offers, these ten represent who we feel are major targets that State has a legitimate shot at landing. As always, this list is in no way connected with any actual recruiting list of the NC State coaching staff.
1. WR Jay Smith...6-3, 195 pounds, 4.4 in the 40...Lake Taylor HS, Norfolk, Va
Rankings...4-star prospect by Scout.com....No 3 player in Va by SuperPrep...SuperPrep All-American
Why he made the list....Smith is an important prospect for State on several fronts. First off is his potential at wide receiver. His speed, catching ability and size make him one of the east coast's most sought-after wideouts. There are also obvious connections to NC State with his dad and Smith is probably most familiar with the Wolfpack.
Who is the main competition....Quietly, we think NC State leads. However, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami and Florida will provide a stiff challenge.
2. DE Derrick Morgan...6-4, 260 pounds, 4.9 in the 40...Coatesville (Pa) HS
Rankings...4-star prospect by Scout.com...No. 3 player in Pa and SuperPrep All-American
Why he made the list...Mainly because NC State needs impact defensive ends like yesterday. Morgan meets that criteria. He has connections to NC State through his mom and loved his visit here over the summer.
Who is the main competition...Likely Penn State. Obviously they're the home team and he'll be more exposed to the Nittany Lions than any other. Outside of them, we really feel good about State's chances. A key to staying in this fight will be how well the Pack plays this year.
3. DT Kyle Linney...6-2, 285 pounds, 5.0-seconds in the 40...Alexander Central HS, Taylorsville, NC
Rankings...No 44 player in NC by Fayetteville Observer
Why he made the list...With DeMario Pressley a junior and Tank Tyler set to graduate, the Pack needs to add depth at DT and Linney is one of the state's best. State made a huge impression on Linney over the summer and now will have to try to hold on until he makes a decision.
Who is the main competition...Right now, we feel the Pack holds a lead for Linney but we can't say how strong that lead is. Short of an offer from Tennessee or Clemson, we feel like State will land him later this year.
4. LB Ronnie Thornton...6-2, 210 pounds, 4.7-seconds in the 40...Killian HS, Miami, Fla
Rankings...No 96 player in Florida by Mike Bakas of Scout.com
Why he made the list...Because NC State needs to land not one, but several impact players at the LB spot. Thornton is one of south Florida's most under-rated players and a prospect that the Pack reportedly loves. The Wolfpack has probably had more success at Killian than any other school in Florida.
Who is the main competition...For now, Pittsburgh and Auburn are the main competition. However, quietly, we feel State is in very solid shape to land Thornton. They will hope to build on their relationship with him throughout the 2006 season.
5. DE JR Sweezy...6-5, 245 pounds, 4.7-seconds in the 40...Mooresville (NC) HS
Why he made the list...Sweezy is a kid the Wolfpack coaches reportedly became extremely high on after seeing him in camp. He has blossomed since his junior year and could mature even further physically. Because he has so much upside and is another important in-state prospect, he is a definite priority at this point.
Who is the main competition...For now, time is the main competition. Sweezy will reportedly announce his choice this week and all indications point towards NC State. If he decided to hold off for some reason, it could give some other school a chance to creep into the race. As things stand currently, we think it's Pack all the way.
6. OL Maurice Holloway...6-7, 320 pounds, 5.2 seconds in the 40...Lake Highland prep, Orlando, Fla
Rankings...No. 86 player in Fla by SuperPrep
Why he made the list...After taking just one OL, it's no secret that the Pack needs to reload at this position in 2007. Holloway is a kid that State offered before anyone else. He's raw but has a ton of potential and would be a huge addition to the Pack's class.
Who is the main competition...Early on, State was probably a huge leader quietly. Since, South Carolina and Auburn have offered and muddied the water somewhat. Florida State is a childhood favorite so they will have to be watched. We still feel pretty good about State's chances as things stand now.
7. QB Rodney Cox...6-6, 210 pounds, 4.6-seconds in the 40...Harnett Central HS, Angier, NC
Rankings...3-star prospect by Scout.com....No 15 player in NC by SuperPrep
Why he made the list...Another player that was offered first by NC State and is a key in-state target. Perception-wise, perhaps one of the most important NC prospect to NC State fans. His athleticism is off the charts.
Who is the main competition...Although he denies a leader, most feel State is the team to beat. Outside of the Pack, we'd keep a close eye on South Carolina and Steve Spurrier. Should Cox's grade situation improve, look for many other schools to potentially get involved.
8. DT Tydreke Powell...6-3, 285 pounds, 4.9-seconds in the 40...Hertford County HS, Ahoskie, NC
Rankings...4-star prospect by Scout.com...No 5 player in NC and All-American by SuperPrep
Why he made the list...Because he's probably the best defensive tackle in the state. That State needs defensive tackles is an understatement.
Who is the main competition...Without a doubt, UNC. He grew up a UNC fan and everyone expects him to choose the Heels at some point. We listed him because we feel the door is ajar just enough for State to have at least a remote shot.
9. DE Adewale Ojomo...6-4, 211 pounds, 4.75-seconds in the 40...Hialeah (Fla) HS
Rankings...3-star prospect by Scout.com....No. 13 player in Fla and SuperPrep All-American
Why he made the list...Ojomo is an impact defensive end, plain and simple. You talk about a player that could potentially come in and instantly help out at DE and this player is it.
Who is the main competition...Miami. The Canes have been pushing for a commitment for weeks. Although the Canes are the odds on favorite to land him, there's always the outside possibility that the high pressure tactics could backfire. Quietly, we feel State is his No. 2 choice. The Pack must win this year to remain a viable candidate, however.
10. S Chris Culliver...6-0, 195 pounds, 4.4-seconds in the 40...Garner (NC) High School
Rankings...3-star prospect by Scout.com...No 10 player in NC by SuperPrep
Why he made the list...Culliver originally committed to NC State and the Wolfpack coaches certainly don't want to lose an in-state verbal. His speed is phenomenal and if his football skills catch up, watch out.
Who is the main competition...Really hard to say. There's no secret that Culliver went from having no interest in March to a top 100 recruit nationally according to one recruiting service in just a month's time. He seems to have the most connections to NC State and has a good relationship with coach Stroud and some of the players. The question will be whether he falls for one of the big fish programs when he makes official visits later in the year. Florida, Florida State and Clemson look to be the main comp for him.