Key Losses: Tank Tyler
Number signed at this position over the last two years: 2
How important was this spot in relation to other positions: Crucial
Did the Pack meet their needs based on sheer numbers: B-
The Pack missed on: Tydreke Powell (UNC), Nick Wood (Washington)
How many may the Pack target for the class of 2008: 2-3
The Pack landed just two defensive tackles over the last two years so this was obviously a major point of emphasis for the NC State coaching staff in the class of 2007. The Wolfpack's board of defensive tackles never grew particularly deep during the recruiting year but State was able to land two players at this position which should help build depth in the coming years. It's also worth noting that several of State's defensive end signees have the frame to ultimately line up at defensive tackle as well. As is nearly the case every year, defensive tackle will once again be an important position in the class of 2008.
An early trip to Clemson helped to land the Tigers as the school of choice for DT Kyle Linney from Alexander Central High School in Hiddenite, NC. A relative sleeper early in the process, it didn't take long for Linney's name to surface after a solid showing at the Shrine Bowl combine held at UNC. NC State was impressed enough to solidify an offer to the rising senior and it wasn't long before the Wolfpack emerged as the team to beat for Linney's commitment. South Carolina made a strong push in the fall of ‘06 but during an unofficial visit to State for the Georgia Tech game, Linney committed to the Pack. He wavered somewhat after the firing of Chuck Amato but ultimately reaffirmed his commitment upon completing his official visit to State in late January.
At 6-2, 285 pounds, Linney collected 67 tackles as a senior. He moves surprisingly well given his size and his extremely quick off the snap. At the Shrine Bowl held last December, Linney was one of North Carolina's most impressive defenders. He consistently bulled his way into the South Carolina backfield and notched several QB hurries and just missed on a couple of sacks. In watching Linney, what is most impressive is his non-stop motor and ability to make plays all over the field.
Wayne Crawford from Chestnut Hill (Pa) Academy was one of two former Boston College commits to switch to the Wolfpack after the hiring of Tom O'Brien at NC State. The 6-4, 290 pound defensive tackle made a late January official visit to Raleigh and committed to the Pack before his departure. Boston College had reportedly told Crawford they would take him as a grey-shirt should he stick with the Eagles but that was of little consequence because of Crawford's relationship with O'Brien and running back's coach Jason Swepson. Once his academic questions were answered, Crawford made a solid pledge to the Wolfpack.
Crawford was an all-state performer in Pennsylvania after notching 50 tackles and three sacks as a senior. He was dominant during his senior year and possesses a super frame with which to build once he arrives in Todd Rice's strength and conditioning program. Crawford will have to improve his overall quickness, speed and agility but should have time to mature and develop physically before being asked to become a major contributor on defense.