NC State's search for linebackers has been well documented and you can add another in-state name to the list of prospects for the class of 2008. While he's gone relatively unnoticed by recruiting analysts so far, it's likely that RB/LB Bobby Hedgepeth from NW Halifax High School in Littleton, NC will be a serious player of interest to Wolfpack fans before all is said and done.
At 6-1, 220 pounds and boasting 4.55-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Hedgepeth helped lead NW Halifax to a 6-5 record and playoff berth in 2006. On the year he rushed for 1,254 yards and eight touchdowns while seeing spot duty at linebacker. However, he expects to see much more action on defense in 2007.
"I played mostly running back last year," said Hedgepeth. "I saw a little bit of time at linebacker but this coming year, I'll be going both ways full time. All the schools that are recruiting me have told me they want me as a linebacker."
That list of interested schools is fairly impressive and includes NC State, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Clemson, East Carolina, Duke and UNC. So far, the Wolfpack has shown the most interest.
"Coach Willis (NC State defensive line coach Keith Willis) is recruiting me and I'd say NC State is recruiting me the hardest," said Hedgepeth.
"I went down there for junior day, and I really love NC State. They have a nice football program, nice academics and you can tell they want to go somewhere with that team. We talked about their study hall and how they're committed to academics. However, I really liked the family atmosphere there and that's what got me. They showed that they take care of their players."
Hedgepeth stated that he's formulated an early top three and two of those schools appear close to offering a scholarship.
"Right now, my top three would be NC State, Virginia Tech and Auburn," said Hedgepeth. "NC State and Virginia Tech seem the closest to offering. Both of them said they wanted to evaluate my film.
"State is my favorite. I just love the overall atmosphere and how they talked about academics a lot at Junior Day. That is what my family cared about the most too, and they like it's close to home."
Northwest Halifax head coach Tyrus Hill speaks highly of his star player.
"Bobby isn't only our best player, he is also our hardest worker," said Hill. "He really loves the game of football, and he is just a great kid.
"We used him at tailback because that is where he could help us the most, but he's going to play defense in college. Athletically he has everything you're looking for in an inside or outside linebacker, and I think he's got a bright future."
Hedgepeth will camp at NC State and Virginia Tech this summer. He projects as an academic qualifier.