Key Losses: None
How important was this spot in relation to other positions: Critical
Did the Pack meet their needs based on sheer numbers: Grade B
The Pack missed on: Lars Anderson (Boston College), Jonathan Hannah (Florida State)
How many may the Pack target for the class of 2008: 1-2
Few schools in the ACC have utilized tight ends more or had as much success developing this position than NC State over the last few years. Sean Burton, Willie Wright, TJ Williams and Anthony Hill are some of the players at this position that have flourished with the Pack. Just this past season, Hill led State with 45 receptions for 478 yards. In 2005, Williams led the Pack in receiving with 36 catches for 407 yards. Williams again led the Wolfpack in 2004 with 31 receptions for 382 yards.
Considering that Boston College tight ends Ryan Thompson and Ryan Purvis combined for 41 catches and 522 yards in 2006, it's safe to say that this position will remain a critical component of the NC State offense.
The departure of Octavius Darby prior to last season left the Wolfpack's tight end corps relatively thin and in search of some capable additions. It didn't take long for the Pack to find their guy when they offered George Bryan (6-6, 260 pounds) from New Hanover High School in Wilmington, NC.
NC State offered Bryan in early April of 2006 and it didn't take but a few days for Bryan to make his decision. The talented tight end grew up a Wolfpack fan, was surrounded by a family of Wolfpack fans and never wavered in his commitment to NC State, even during the coaching change late last year.
What State got was an extremely athletic, jumbo athlete was capable of flexing out as a wide receiver for New Hanover High School. However, because of his strength and size, Bryan is also an effective run blocker.
Timed in the 4-8 second range, Bryan has good speed for his size and is extremely fluid running routes and boasts impressive concentration and hands. He's effective in traffic using his body to create space and make catches.
At the Shrine Bowl held earlier this year, Bryan was named a team captain and proved to have one of the most impressive physical builds of any player in attendance.
While it may be premature to project him as a major contributor in 2007, the potential is certainly there for Bryan to make some noise for the Pack very early in his career.