With the recruiting season entering into the home stretch, the NC State coaches were out in force at the Shrine Bowl workouts last Tuesday and Wednesday. Pack Pride breaks down all of the Wolfpack prospects that participated in the Shrine Bowl and what State’s chances are headed into the Christmas break.
EJ Abrams-Ward...NC State has tried to get in the race with Abrams-Ward but targeted him for defense early on and that may have hurt somewhat. He would prefer offense and is pretty set with that. As things stand, he’s leaning towards UNC and Tennessee. Basketball is a consideration and the Heels have already made preparations to give him a shot at walking on to the basketball team. We suspect once he gets on campus and a chance to touch Jordan’s jersey, he’ll be a Heel.
Dwayne Allen...Allen’s recruiting has been all over the place despite his verbal commitment to Georgia. State has had an in-home with Allen and sources have said that he indicated he would officially visit in January but State’s chances look slim at best.
Jonathan Cooper...State has worked Cooper pretty hard but has managed to just scrape into his top four list. Coach Petercuskie and head coach Tom O’Brien have both met with Cooper since the contact period began and he is tentatively scheduled to officially visit on Jan 18. However, he’ll be in Chapel Hill a week prior and it’s certainly possible that he could commit to the Heels on his visit. In fact, at this point we would be surprised if Cooper doesn’t end up at Carolina.
Ed Gainey...The NC State coaches gave Gainey a long look last week during workouts but it is unclear at this point if they’ll choose to ramp up their interest. Gainey played fairly well in the Shrine Bowl so it could go either way. There has been some overall concern with Gainey’s top end speed so that is an issue that State probably needed to clear up before making a decision. Should the Pack pursue him, they could certainly emerge as a favorite to land him.
RJ Mattes...We wish we could give some new insight into Mattes’ recruiting but he has been solid with where he stands for months. It continues to be Clemson, NC State, Virginia, UNC and South Carolina. Some sources have indicated Clemson and State are out front while others have pointed to Clemson and Virginia. The common denominator has always been Clemson and it would be surprising at this stage if he didn’t end up a Tiger.
Kevin Reddick...The Pack has tried to get in the race with Reddick but simply hasn’t made any headway. The two schools we continue to hear are UNC and East Carolina. The Pirates would likely be a backup option should Reddick fail to qualify and decide to forego the prep school option. Regardless, it would be surprising if Reddick doesn’t verbal to UNC and, in fact, some have indicated he may have quietly already done so.
Lee Butler...Butler is a sleeper that has committed to Duke but put on a good showing at the Shrine Bowl. At this point NC State is keeping the lines open but how hard they pursue may depend on how some other dominos fall over the next several weeks. If State decides to go after him harder, he has indicated he’s willing to listen.
Sterling Lucas...Lucas did a great job last week and secured himself a couple of scholarship offers from NC State and Michigan State. In State’s favor is location, they have already hosted him on a visit and jumped on the bandwagon before other schools. Our feeling is that Lucas will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating which schools get involved and will then go from there. State will get a visit from Lucas next month.
Devin Taylor...Taylor is a player with a lot of upside in our opinion. State was a little late offering and didn’t do so until he had forged a solid top three of Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Wake Forest. The Pack has worked hard to get in the race but has had little luck so far. It is conceivable that State could get a visit in January but it looks unlikely.