With sixteen 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 some shot at landing. As always, this list is in no way connected with any actual recruiting list of the NC State coaching staff.
1. LB Maurice Harris...6-1, 190 pounds, 4.4 in the 40...Homestead (Fla) High School
Why the Pack needs him...Because Harris is exactly the defensive play-maker they've been trying to land for years at the LB spot. Harris is a tremendous sideline to sideline player that has a knack for the ball and the big hit. He would be the crown jewel for NC State at the LB spot for the class of 2007. State was the first to offer and has consistently been mentioned at the top of Harris' favorite's list.
Schools under consideration...Florida and NC State lead over Wisconsin and Arizona State
Our best guess...NC State...The Pack will finally break through and land one of their top LB targets
2. LB Ronnie Thornton...6-2, 210 pounds, 4.7 in the 40...Killian HS, Miami, Fla
Why the Pack needs him...The Pack is desperate for linebackers and Thornton plays for one of the top programs in Florida and faces some of the stiffest competition around. His importance is also magnified by the fact that State has been on him forever and it would be a major blow to the Pack's efforts to lose him late in the game.
Schools under consideration...Primarily Pittsburgh and NC State. Thornton also likes Auburn but we don't think they're recruiting him that hard currently.
Our best guess...We think NC State wins out in the end
3. LB Melvin Ingram...6-2, 227 pounds, 4.6 in the 40...Richmond County HS, Rockingham, NC
Why the Pack needs him...Ingram is another ultra-talented athlete that could blossom into a dominating linebacker down the road. Landing Ingram would also give State another connection to one of North Carolina's most powerful programs.
Schools under consideration...UNC, East Carolina, NC State and South Carolina
Our best guess...Slight edge to South Carolina over NC State...the Palmetto State has fared quite well in this area of NC and the fact they got Ingram's first official visit doesn't help State's chances.
4. DE Adewale Ojomo...6-4, 215 pounds, 4.7 in the 40...Hialeah (Fla) High School
Why the Pack needs him...The Wolfpack needs to continue it's pipeline of big-time defensive ends and perhaps none left on the board are any bigger than Ojomo. He likely wouldn't make a huge splash as a freshman but with time, coaching and added size and speed, could be a monster down the road.
Schools under consideration...Pittsburgh, NC State and Miami
Our best guess...It's too cold in Pittsburgh so the Panthers are out. That leaves State and Miami. For now, we have to go with Miami. However, this may be a situation where the sooner he commits, the better for NC State. The turmoil in Miami certainly isn't helping their cause but the allure of home can be tough to overcome. In all honesty, this could realistically go either way.
5. OL Maurice Holloway...6-7, 320 pounds, 5.2 in the 40...Lake Highland Prep, Orlando, Fla
Why the Pack needs him...The Wolfpack needs tackles and Holloway fits the bill. He will not be an immediate contributor but down the road, will emerge as a likely starter for the Pack. State offered him first and was a huge leader in the early going. It would be painful to lose him late in the game.
Schools under consideration...NC State, Florida, South Carolina, Auburn, Florida State
Our best guess...Based on the information available right now, it's NC State. We don't think Florida will offer and Holloway has said that the Gators were tied with the Pack recently as his top schools. The wildcard could be a team like South Carolina or Auburn making a late offer. That scenario could throw State's chances into chaos.
6. QB/WR/ATH Rodney Cox...6-6, 210 pounds, 4.7 in the 40...Harnett Central HS, Angier, NC
Why the Pack needs him...Cox admitted early in the recruiting process that he grew up a Wolfpack fan. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of those on the recruiting trail so it's a battle the Pack will hate to lose. Beyond that, Cox is a super athlete that creates magic when the ball's in his hands.
Schools under consideration...NC State, East Carolina, South Carolina
Our best guess...NC State will land him over South Carolina and ECU. Academics will be a concern and the Pirates may try to sell the partial qualifier route. However, perhaps State learned something from the Aleric Mullins scenario in Chapel Hill.
7. DT Tydreke Powell...6-3, 285 pounds, 5.0 in the 40...Hertford County HS, Ahoskie, NC
Why the Pack needs him...See John McCargo. See Tank Tyler. See DeMario Pressley. The Pack has landed and developed at least three NFL-caliber defensive tackles and would love for Powell to be the next. He has all the tools and is generally considered as the state's top tackle prospect. Once Pressley leaves after that 2007 season, State becomes quite thin at the DT spot.
Schools under consideration...UNC, NC State, Florida, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Auburn
Our best guess...UNC with a caveat. If UNC doesn't retain current coach Ken Browning then every other team's chances go up- including NC State's. Of all the players on this board, Powell may be the biggest longshot.
8. LB Josh Hartigan...6-3, 215 pounds, 4.65 in the 40...Northeast HS, Oakland Park, Fla
Why the Pack needs him...Again, State needs LB's and the fact Hartigan enrolls in January makes him even more attractive. The ability to participate in spring ball and mat drills would put him nearly a year ahead of every other LB that State lands. May not be on the same talent level with Harris or Ingram but still solid.
Schools under consideration...Iowa State, Pittsburgh, NC Sate and Colorado
Our best guess...Have to give a razor thin edge to Pittsburgh over NC State. After speaking to Hartigan several times it is apparent he's looking for a comfort zone in college. State has Audi Augustin but Pittsburgh has offered nearly a half dozen players from Hartigan's school. They will likely land two of them at a minimum. Combine that with Pittsburgh landing his last official visit and the Panthers look strong.
9. CB Darin Baldwin...6-0, 170 pounds, 4.5 in the 40...S Dade HS, Homestead, Fla
Why the Pack needs him...A source indicated to me that, from a talent standpoint, Baldwin was one of the top two or three prospects on State's board last year. The Pack has probably invested more time and energy on Baldwin than any other player still on the radar not to mention the fact they really want to land another play-maker at the CB spot.
Schools under consideration...Primarily Arizona State, NC State and Florida
Our best guess...As much as I hope I'm wrong, I just don't feel like Baldwin will end up at NC State. He's had every chance to commit to State and has balked all along the way. Were Florida to become a real option there's no doubt he would become a Gator. However we feel it unlikely Florida offers based on where the Gators stand currently. So our pick is probably a surprise to most as we're going with Arizona State in a squeaker unless the Pack can somehow overcome Baldwin's hate for cold weather.
10. RB Tyrell Worthington...6-0, 185 pounds, 4.47 in the 40...S Central HS, Winterville, NC
Why the Pack needs him...State really wants to land a RB in this class and Worthington is a stud. He may not have the prototypical size that State usually targets at RB but he is a tremendous athlete and would be a huge boost to the Pack's RB corps with Andre Brown and Toney Baker set to graduate in just two years.
Schools under consideration...Clemson, UNC, NC State and East Carolina
Our best guess...Really, the geniuses at Pack Pride have no clue. If you happen to know then please tell us. The safe bet would be to say Worthington will go baseball-only as grades are somewhat of a concern.