Key Losses: None
How important was this spot in relation to other positions: Low
Did the Pack meet their needs based on sheer numbers: Grade A
The Pack missed on: Enrique Davis (Auburn), Bo Williams (Florida), Brian Maddox (South Carolina)
How many may the Pack target for the class of 2008: 1
With Wolfpack running backs Toney Baker and Andre Brown just sophomores this past season, it figured to be a tough sell to land a blue-chip back in the class of 2007. Bo Williams made an official visit with the Pack but didn't come away overly impressed. Brian Maddox was a very early target and made a couple of unofficial visits to State but cast his lot early on with South Carolina.
November and December came and went without any major running back prospects surfacing on the Pack's recruiting radar. However, when Tom O'Brien became State's new head man, he quickly reestablished ties with one of the northeast's biggest sleepers.
Had O'Brien stayed the head coach at Boston College then RB Curtis Underwood from Lackawanna (NY) High School would have almost surely been an Eagle. However, Underwood made an impromptu official visit to Raleigh during the middle of January and within hours of returning home from his trip, announced his commitment to NC State.
Underwood was a workhorse player for head coach Bob Lakso- lining up at running back, linebacker and kick returner. In his final two years of high school, Underwood rushed for a combined 3,500 yards and 35 touchdowns and came away with all-state honors as well as being named western New York's top player regardless of position.
What the Pack got is a quiet, easy-going teenager off the field that absolutely dominated the competition once the Friday night lights went on. Underwood is somewhat similar in style to Baker- running compact when in traffic. He has deceptive top end speed and runs extremely hard. He does not shy away from compact and already has the frame to compete on the division one level. With a year or two in Todd Rice's strength and conditioning program, Underwood could very well become the heir apparent to Brown and Baker when they graduate after the 2008 season.
We selected Underwood as our sleeper of the class of 07 and it will be interesting to watch how his career in Raleigh unfolds.