With less than four months to go before signing day, recruiting will become more and more of a priority for coaching staffs with each passing week. NC State will likely look to sign around 25 players in the class of 2007 and Pack Pride takes a look at the major names on the Wolfpack's offensive recruiting board.
After watching quarterback Russell Wilson perform at their summer camp, the Wolfpack coaches made the 6-0, 190 pounder from Richmond, Va one of their top targets at quarterback and landed him shortly thereafter. As things stand now, it appears unlikely that State will look to sign another quarterback. However, they are staying on top of Rodney Cox from Harnett Central High School and they lead for him currently. In our opinion, Cox is best suited for wide receiver because of his tremendous size and athleticism and should he fill out even more, could ultimately play a Willie Wright-type tight end role at NC State. Academics are a concern and the chances of him qualifying may not become clear until later in the year.
While Toney Baker, Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene give State a solid trio at running back, the Wolfpack definitely wants to land at least one player at that position this year. Their options at this position are probably the fuzziest of all the spots the Pack is recruiting currently. While there are several extremely talented players considering State, each would appear to have an asterisk by his name when it comes to the Wolfpack's chances. Bo Williams from Oakland Park, Fla may headline the list and he has made an official visit to NC State already. However, the Pack is a huge underdog to land him.
Jonathan Williams from Rose High School in Greenville, NC may be the state's best running back this year. He has tremendous size and good speed, however, some have him pegged as being better suited for safety on the next level. The other issue is his recruiting. It has been very difficult to access where he's leaning or who he's even considering. He's not been to any Wolfpack games that we're aware of but we think State is a player. It may be a while before his situation clears up as academics are reportedly an issue as well.
Not much has been said about Carter Sharpe although we think State is staying in touch with him. As a junior, Sharpe looked like one of the state's most promising backs. He ultimately left E.E. Smith and headed to Hargrave Military Academy. Sharpe didn't last long there and enrolled in a private school, choosing to play 8-man football. He reportedly gave up on that as well, choosing to focus solely on academics. What all of that means for his chances to play college football is anyone's guess.
Another extremely productive back this year has been Tyrell Worthington from Winterville, NC. The Pack looked like a strong option early on but over the last few months, the overall sentiment has swayed towards Worthington possibly pursuing a baseball-only career. If his academics are in order, there is still a chance that he could look to play both football and baseball in college. QB Russell Wilson will do both for the Pack and could be a valuable asset to help land Worthington.
Dale Martin from Bolingbrook, Ill is another option for the Pack and he's listed State fairly consistently in his top four. Tennessee currently leads for him and like Bo Williams, will likely be a longshot for the Pack based on how things stand currently.
With offensive linemen Desmond Roberts, Justin Whaley, Mike Golder, Henry Lawson and Sam Jones already committed, it appears likely the Wolfpack will take just one more offensive lineman in this class.
Micah Grimes from Ft. Meade, Fla appeared to be on track to commit to the Pack at one point but it looks like State wants to wait on a couple of other kids first.
One of those is mammoth tackle Maurice Holloway from Orlando, Fla. As things stand currently, his recruiting is fairly simple. If Florida offers he will likely be a Gator. Without that offer, State has a very solid chance. The Pack led for him early and should be setting up an official visit with him in the very near future. Auburn is another school worth watching.
The other major player along the offensive line is Kyle Fischer from Columbia, SC. State has hosted him on a couple of visits and appeared to be a major player for him early on. Since then, Fischer has shied away from naming faves so it's become difficult to determine who may be out front. If Clemson or South Carolina were to offer, it is unlikely he would leave the Palmetto State.
NC State landed Shrine Bowl selection Steve Howard from Olympic High School earlier this year and will try to land one more in the class of ‘07. Jay Smith from Norfolk, Va is likely the Pack's top target to fill that spot. However, his personal situation is extremely complicated right now so it's impossible to say how his recruiting may play out. It would appear NC State, Miami and Virginia Tech are the main players. He was supposed to make an official visit to Virginia Tech this weekend but that trip didn't happen. We're not convinced that a planned trip to NC State on Nov 4th will happen either although it's possible.
Darrian Williams from Oakland Park, Fla made an official visit to State last month and State has offered. It remains to be seen whether the Pack will go all out to land him. Whether they do may be greatly impacted by what happens with Jay Smith.
Another wideout State is watching that hasn't been mentioned often is 5-11, 170 pound wideout Doug Baldwin from Gulf Breeze, Fla. Although somewhat undersized, Baldwin has proven to be a game breaker for Gulf Breeze and is generally considered to be one of the panhandle's top athletes.
NC State landed one of the east coast's top tight ends in George Bryan from New Hanover High School earlier this year. They're still looking to sign one more in the class of 2007 and are extremely high on Lars Anderson from Winter Springs, Fla and Cam Ford from Anderson, SC. Ford has had the Pack as his top school for months but the consensus is he will likely wait to see whether South Carolina or Clemson offers before making a decision.
The Wolfpack may hold a slight lead for Anderson but he is still in the process of working to earn more offers. NC State, Marshall, Central Florida, Akron and Florida International have all offered.