Pack Pride will take a weekly look at how NC State may recruit the various positions for the class of 2007 and the prospects that are currently mentioning the Pack as one of their top schools. The following should be considered a rough guide only as many factors will affect the actual numbers at each position between now and signing day next year. Based on numbers available currently, the Pack will likely sign between 22-25 players in next year's class. All information contained in this article is the opinion of the staff at Pack Pride and should not be confused as being information from the coaching staff at NC State. It is also based on information known at the current time. Several aspects of this listing will certainly change as the recruiting season progresses.
Key losses...Pat Lowery
Pack is likely to sign...3-5
Number signed at this position over the last two years...3
How important is this spot in relationship to other positions...Critical
How does the Pack's early recruiting pool look: Grade B
Although NC State only loses middle linebacker Pat Lowery after the 2006 season, that number is extremely misleading. The Pack has under-signed at the linebacker for several years and has missed on a ton of prospects. NC State simply has to land a solid class of LB's this year and they need to be players that are ready to play.
Pack Pride's Dream Recruiting Class at linebacker....Maurice Harris, Josh Hartigan, Ronnie Thornton, Alex Kaufman, Melvin Ingram
On the board and listing the Pack:
Melvin Ingram ....Ingram has had a monster senior season and has proven to be a heck of a utility player for Richmond County. He projects as a middle linebacker in college. Ingram listed NC State and UNC as top two early on but now says his top schools are NC State, UNC, South Carolina and ECU. Our opinion is USC and NCS lead. He will likely have to spend a year in prep school before college.
Alex Kaufman ...Kaufman earned an early offer from NC State and has steadfastly kept the Wolfpack at the top of his list. He has earned offers from some smaller schools but no major powers have offered as of yet. Kaufman will officially visit NC State on Nov 25.
Josh Hartigan...NC State, Pittsburgh, Iowa State and Colorado are the main players for Hartigan. PITT and NCS lead the way with a trip pending to Pittsburgh in December. One wild card in the Panthers' favor is the fact they are recruiting numerous members of Hartigan's team. At the same time, Hartigan's former teammate, Audi Augustin, is already at NC State. He will enroll in college in January.
Maurice Harris...It has been rumored that Harris may be the top prospect on the Wolfpack's defensive recruiting board. It is likely that of all the linebacker prospects left on the Pack's board, Harris has the most big-play potential and could bring an element that State has missed at linebacker this year. State led early but Florida is coming on strong. State is also recruiting Harris' best friend and teammate, Jameil Farrington. Based on State's needs, Harris may be the most important prospect on the board.
Ronnie Thornton...Thornton is another solid defender that the Pack has been extremely high on for months. Like Hartigan, it's basically emerged as a two team race between NC State and Pittsburgh. He hasn't set any official visits yet but should once he gets his test score behind him. Unless something changes, we feel really good about Thornton joining NC State for 2007.
Sam Battle... Battle is a very productive linebacker at SW Edgecombe High School and is teammates with current NC State commit, Linwan Euwell. His height may be of concern but his playmaking ability on the high school level is unquestioned. Grades also suspect. Battle has yet to earn an offer but State will likely keep an eye on him in the event they miss on a couple of other kids.
Toronto Smith...Smith, like Battle, is on the smallish side and that may be a sticking point. However, Smith has earned some offers and has been fabulous in high school. It is our opinion that the Pack could jump to the front should they offer and, of the un-offered prospects, we think he could be heavily considered for an offer if the Pack misses on some other players.
Xavier Lamb...Lamb is a player that State has stayed in fairly regular contact with but we're not certain how strong their interest level is right now. There's little secret that Lamb would prefer to go to Auburn with his brother, Tim. Should State decide to offer they would almost certainly become a major player.