NC State enters the home stretch of recruiting for the class of 2008 and will host four current commitments along with three crucial prospects. Pack Pride takes a look at each in this official visit preview.
TE Mario Carter...6-4, 215 pounds, 4.7/40...Independence HS...Charlotte, NC
Notes...Carter had 22 catches for 309 yards and six touchdowns as a junior but injured his knee in a preseason scrimmage and missed his senior season. He has good hands and is equally adept at blocking in the run game. He will need to continue to mature physically to pack on size and strength. He’ll also need adequate time to heal his knee so a redshirt season in 2008 looks like a certainty. Carter committed to NC State last April over offers from Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech among others.
Postseason ranking...Three-star prospect and No. 26 tight end in the nation. No. 19 player in NC by PackPride.com.
ATH Tobias Palmer...5-10, 165 pounds, 4.4/40...Northwood HS...Pittsboro, NC
Notes...Palmer is a slippery, deceptively quick player that moves fluidly and effortlessly. Doesn’t have ideal size to play running back and may be best suited in the long run for cornerback. He has an impressive burst of speed and plays physical for his size. Palmer is one of the sleepers of the class for NC State.
Postseason ranking...Three-star prospect and No. 40 CB in the nation. No. 16 player in NC by PackPride.com.
CB Gary Grant...6-0, 190 pounds, 4.5/40...Krop High School, Miami, Fla
Notes...Grant tallied 40 tackles and four interceptions as a senior. He was a complete unknown on the recruiting trail until he committed to NC State back in earl December. His commitment gave the Pack some much needed depth at the CB position.
Postseason Ranking...Two-star prospect and No. 147 CB in the nation
DE Shea McKeen...6-6, 280 pounds, 4.8/40...Nassau Community College...Garden City, NY
Notes...McKeen originally signed with South Carolina but spent past two years at Nassau Community College. Had 42 tackles, four sacks and 17 tackles for loss this season. Was a major prospect exiting high school but off the field issues derailed his career at USC. NC State has offered and will likely push for a commit this weekend. Defensive end is the biggest remaining need for the Wolfpack coaches.
CB William Lowe...5-10, 165 pounds, 4.5/40...Glenville HS...Cleveland, OH
Notes...Lowe plays for one of the top high school programs in Ohio. He is somewhat of a sleeper but really like his quickness and versatility. Played quite a bit of running back in high school but projects as a CB in college. Somewhat similar physically to DeAndre Morgan. Iowa and Indiana are main competition right now with Ohio State and Michigan as possibilities if they offer. Unlikely that Lowe will commit on visit as he told us he wold want to go back home and discuss with parents first.
Postseason Ranking...Two-star prospect and No. 105 RB in the nation.
WR T.J. Graham...6-0, 180 pounds, 4.4/40...Wakefield HS...Raleigh, NC
Notes...Graham will likely be the only wide receiver in this class for NC State. He is such an unknown at that position because Wakefield was simply unable to get him the ball in that role in high school. Graham has a lean frame but has unbelievable speed. His initial acceleration is impressive. It may take some time to get bigger and stronger and learn the nuances of playing wide receiver but he has a ton of potential for down the road.
Postseason Ranking...Three-star prospect and No. 139 WR in the nation. Rated the No. 25 player in NC by PackPride.com.
DE Devin Taylor...6-6, 212 pounds, 4.75/40...Beaufort (SC) HS
Notes...Taylor is a long, lean prospect in the mold of current NC State defensive end Willie Young. He is very quick and plays tough for his size. We came away extremely impressed after watching him go up against some very talented OL for the NC squad in the Shrine Bowl. Currently has South Carolina, Virginia Tech, NC State, Duke and Wake Forest on his list. Academics are reportedly a big part of his decision and his desire to major in engineering should help the Pack. State was late to get in on the action but this is a player that typically goes to a school like WF or VT and kills you three years down the road. Would be a much better scenario to have him on State’s team instead.
Postseason Ranking...Two-star prospect and No. 89 DE in the nation.