NC State has made recruiting the offensive line a major priority this year with no fewer than five OL already committed to the Pack. They will likely target one or two more linemen to round out the class of 2007 and have started evaluating a Palmetto State standout recently.
Benji Inabinet is a three year starter at Irmo High School in Columbia, SC. The 6-4, 275 pounder has played everything from guard to tackle to tight end depending on the team's needs. Inabinet told Pack Pride that he feels his improvement from his junior to senior year has helped catch the eye of several interested colleges.
"I think I've really gotten a lot stronger since last year," said Inabinet. "I've tried to do a better job of finishing my blocks and I think that's what the coaches are looking for. I had about 30 or 35 knockdown blocks last year which was okay but I've probably had about 70 or so this year."
The Shrine Bowl selection has earned an offer from Middle Tennessee State but has garnered interest from several other programs as of late.
"Maryland has six lineman committed and they want to take seven and they seem really interested," he said. "Central Florida has been calling lately. Georgia Tech has been calling and said they were coming down to see me at the Shrine Bowl. Virginia is another school showing a lot of interest."
As for the Pack, they started to show increased interest back in October and that led to an unofficial visit from Inabinet.
"I came up for the Georgia Tech game," he said. "Coach Meyer was on his way down to see a big-time lineman in South Carolina and stopped by my school and watched some of my junior film with my coach. That was great because I've always been a Wolfpack fan. A few weeks later, coach Portee called and invited me up the Georgia Tech game. He told me that he wants me up there so I'm coming back for the East Carolina game."
When Inabinet came for his visit he gushed about one aspect of his visit that completely blew him away.
"State has the best student section I've ever seen," he said. "They just showed that they were true fans. They were hollering all the way from the player introductions to the end. I've been to Maryland and Clemson and they were the best.
"But really, everything was great- from the mascot to the fans to just the overall atmosphere. The thing that stuck out was how nice everyone was. The facilities were perfect but I really loved that student section."
While Inabinet isn't ruling out any programs, he does have three that he's keeping a close eye one.
"I want to stay close to home and I want to play big-time college football," he said. "I can jump on 95 and be in Maryland in no time. NC State and Georgia Tech are the same but overall, I don't have any favorites right now.
And although he doesn't have any school at the top of his wish list, he did admit that an offer from the Pack may be hard to turn down.
"If State did offer, I'd probably jump on it," he said. "Coach Meyer is a great guy and I'd really like playing for him. Like I said, the facilities are great and listening to coach Amato talk was awesome."