Key Losses: None
How important was this spot in relation to other positions: Moderate
Did the Pack meet their needs based on sheer numbers: Grade A
The Pack missed on: Matt Simms (Louisville), Peter Lalich (Virginia), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech), Steven Threet (Georgia Tech)
How many may the Pack target for the class of 2008: 1
The good news is NC State had four quarterbacks on scholarship prior to signing day last Wednesday. The bad news is that none of them have proven to be overly effective during their college careers. With that in mind, the Pack set out to add at least one signal-caller in the class of 2007 and met that goal when they landed a verbal commitment from QB Russell Wilson from Collegiate High in Richmond, Va.
Were Wilson three inches taller, he likely would have been one of the most heavily recruited players in the country. However, at 5-11 and 185 pounds, Wilson ultimately earned scholarship from just three schools- NC State, Duke and Ohio.
On film, Wilson's play and physical build is very reminiscent of former Georgia Tech QB Reggie Ball. In the passing game, Wilson's most impressive attributes are his arm strength, accuracy and footwork. He shows over and over the ability to simply flick his arm and make pinpoint passes that are right on the money. Wilson also puts nice touch on his passes when needed and does a super job of hitting his receivers in stride.
Another facet of Wilson's game is his ability to scramble and make something out of nothing when a play breaks down. He is extremely athletic and seemingly turns into a slot receiver when he makes the decision to tuck the ball and run. Wilson managed to churn out 1,132 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground as a senior. The ability to turn a loss into a big play is a weapon that the NC State offense has not had in quite a while.
Perhaps the only negative to Wilson's game is the fact that he appears to be much more comfortable throwing outside the pocket, again, very reminiscent of Reggie Ball. This is partly a result of breakdowns in protection but it also likely gives Wilson a clearer line of sight to locate receivers. In college he will have to learn to work inside the pocket and use the passing lanes created by his offensive line.
On the recruiting side, Wilson reportedly blew the Wolfpack coaches away with- not only his physical talents- but a tremendous attitude and personality. He is a tremendous competitor and was said to be the most impressive QB in attendance at the Wolfpack's camp held last summer. State wasted little time in offering Wilson and he made his commitment to State official last August.
Duke, UNC and a few others continued their pursuit of Wilson. UNC, in particular, liked Wilson quite a bit but had already received a commitment from Mike Paulus and knew they couldn't land him as an athlete or defensive back. The Blue Devils landed an official visit from Wilson but were never a major threat.