Three scholarship freshmen are now enrolled at NC State, as the Wolfpack have added Ahoskie (NC) Hertford Co. athlete LaMarcus Bond, Leland (NC) North Brunswick wide receiver Owen Spencer, and Wilmington (NC) New Hanover/Hargrave safety Jimmaul Simmons.
Bond, a versatile athlete who played wide receiver and running back for coach Greg Watford, scored 28 total touchdowns as a senior; 16 rushing, two receiving, five punts, two kickoffs and three interceptions. He tallied nine interceptions on defense as a senior. Bond averaged over nine yards a carry while rushing for 922 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete projects as a slotback or defensive back on the next level, and is enrolling this January after failing to qualify prior to the 2006 season. He originally inked with the Wolfpack over offers from East Carolina, UNC, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Virginia among others.
Spencer, who checks in at 6-foot-2 and 165-pounds, caught 42 passes for 748 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. He caught 30 balls for 802 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging nearly 27 yards a catch as a junior. Under coach Gary Bishop, Spencer and North Brunswick went 7-0 in conference and 10-2 overall in Spencer's junior season (2004). He was timed at 4.49 in the 40-yard dash at a Shrine Bowl combine.
Spencer originally inked with the Wolfpack over offers from Virginia and Virginia Tech. He was rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com. He was recruited to play wide receiver at NC State and is enrolling this January after failing to qualify prior to the 2006 season.
Simmons is enrolling at NC State after a strong prep season at Hargrave Military Academy. The 6-3, 205 pound defender with 4.51-second speed in the 40-yard dash played high school ball at Wilmington (NC) New Hanover before prepping at Hargrave where he impressed head coach Robert Prunty.
"He's 207 pounds, he doesn't look like it but he is," said Prunty. "He started for us at safety, and he's going to be a great one. Trust me. Before he ends up I think he'll be a great outside linebacker down at State. He won't be any different than some of the others we've been fortunate enough to have play in Raleigh.
Simmons projects as a safety on the next level but he could grow into an outside linebacker.
Bond, Spencer,and Simmons are true freshmen and they have five years to play four seasons.
Joining the three freshmen in Raleigh this semester will be Boston College transfer Keith Willis Jr. Willis, the son of new Wolfpack defensive line coach Keith Willis, is heading to NC State after three seasons at Boston College.
|Keith Willis Jr.|
The 6-foot-1, 270-pound defensive tackle redshirted in 2004 and was in the rotation the past two seasons. In 2005, he played in all 12 games, registering 20 tackles (nine solos), five tackles for loss, one sack and five pass breakups.
This past season, Willis Jr. played in 11 games; starting the games against Clemson and BYU. He tallied 17 tackles, including four solo stops, and he totaled three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He added a forced fumble and a pass breakup.
He is expected to redshirt this season in compliance with NCAA rules, but he could apply for a waiver due to the circumstances surrounding his transfer. Should the waiver be granted, he would be eligible to play this season and have two years to play two seasons. If it is not granted, Willis would sit out the 2007 season and play 2008 as a redshirt senior.
Generally, transfers within conference result in a two-year redshirting penalty but that would have exhausted the eligibility of Willis. It is believed that Boston College has already waived that penalty.
Willis will be looking to add depth to the defensive line as redshirt sophomore Raymond Brooks is no longer listed on the roster.
Brooks had an up-and-down career at NC State. As a true freshman in 2004, he showed steady improvement over the course of his freshman year, earning top newcomer award on defense from his defensive end position. In ten games, Brooks recorded 27 tackles and one sack.
However, in the summer of 2005, NC State head coach Chuck Amato announced that he would miss the 2005 season. Brooks came back in 2006 to earn a starting position at defensive end, and he played well before suffering an elbow injury late in the season that forced him to miss the rest of the year.
In 10 games, the 6-foot-3, 285-pounder managed to record 27 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, one pass breakup, two quarterback hurries, and a fumble recovery.
Brooks was expected to contend for a starting position in 2007, but both Martrel Brown and Willie Young were playing very well at the end of the season and should enter the spring as the starters.