With the football recruiting class of 2008 now settled, the NC State coaching staff will turn it’s full attention to the prospects of ‘09. Wolfpack head coach Tom O’Brien has made the state of North Carolina his starting point on the recruiting trail and the upcoming crop of prospects looks impressive. Pack Pride takes a look at 15 names to watch as the year unfolds.
S Devonte Holloman...6-2, 200 pounds...Independence High School, Charlotte, NC
Notes...Holloman will be one of the state’s most heavily recruited players in 2008. He split time at QB and defensive back as a junior but projects on defense in college. He has early offers from NC State, UNC, Clemson, Georgia and Notre Dame among others. Holloman would reportedly like to major in engineering. Some feel that Clemson, NC State and UNC might be three of the major players early on.
QB Brett Mooring...6-4, 215 pounds...West Craven High School, Vanceboro, NC
Notes...Three in-state QB’s have generated early buzz including Mooring, Danny O’Brien (East Forsyth) and Kevin Shelton (Hickory). Of that trio, Mooring is the biggest and had a stellar junior season where he completed 189 of 376 passes for 2,721 yards and 21 touchdowns. He reportedly has an early offer from East Carolina and interest from NC State, Virginia Tech, Illinois, Purdue and Georgia Tech.
WR Jheranie Boyd...6-3, 185 pounds...Ashbrook High School, Gastonia, NC
Notes...The wide receiver position will likely receive a lot of attention from the NC State coaching staff in 2008 and Boyd may be the state’s best. With offers on the table from the Pack, UNC, Alabama, Clemson and Maryland among others, Boyd will be a national recruit this year. This will likely be a year-long battle for his commitment and he plans to utilize a recruiting advisor to help him through the process.
OL Xavier Nixon...6-6, 275 pounds...Jack Britt High School, Fayetteville, NC
Notes...Nixon will be a serious contender for top player in the state honors when rankings are released later this year. He has tremendous size and athleticism and that has schools from around the nation salivating at the possibility of landing him. He has a who’s who of scholarship offers and suffice it to say he could play for any school in the nation. Based on early buzz, NC State should be a serious player for his commitment throughout the year but it’ll be a battle to keep him in-state.
OL David Collins...6-7, 300 pounds...East Forsyth High School, Kernersville, NC
Notes...Collins is a massive prospect that has worked hard during the off-season to get his weight down and improve his foot speed. Apparently that has helped him to earn early scholarship offers from East Carolina and UNC. He had a great showing in individual workouts at the US Army All-American Bowl. Collins grew up a Wolfpack fan and his early top five list consists of State, UNC, ECU, South Carolina and Wake Forest.
ATH Zach Greene...5-10, 160 pounds...Leesville Road High School, Raleigh, NC
Notes...In the mold of 2008 signee Tobais Palmer, Greene is a super-fast player that could project at a number of positions. He had 48 tackles and three picks on defense and racked up 45 receptions for 704 yards and eight TD’s on offense. His speed and quickness also make him a candidate for punt and kick returns. Greene has solid connections to NC State through his father who is a former Wolfpack player. Many consider the Pack to be the early leader.
LB Hawatha Bell...6-1, 225 pounds...Butler High School, Charlotte, NC
Notes...Butler has emerged as a serious producer of division one talent and it appears Bell will continue that run in 2008. As a junior he tallied 119 tackles, three sacks and scored two touchdowns. He also rushed 25 times for 127 yards. He reports early offers from Illinois, East Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina among others. UNC has invited him to their junior day.
DE Donte Moss..6-4, 230 pounds...Northside High School, Jacksonville, NC
Notes...After missing on several high-profile defensive ends in the class of 2008, you can be sure that the Pack will be hot after this position for 2009. One of the top players on the board is in-state star Donte Moss. He’ll likely blow up over the coming months but State made a favorable impression with an early offer. He reportedly grew up a Wolfpack fan and the Pack coaches would surely like to nail him down early.
ATH Artrele Louis...5-10, 180 pounds...AL Brown High School, Kannapolis, NC
Notes...Louis had an impressive showing at an underclassman combine in 2007 where he was recognized as the top running back in attendance and won the fastest man award having been timed at 4.45-seconds in the 40-yard dash. Louis is a very impressive running back and has early interest from Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech
S Hunter Furr...6-0, 200 pounds...Mt Tabor High School, Winston-Salem, NC
Notes...Furr is a very fast player that has been timed as low as 10.75-seconds in the 100-meter dash. He rushed for better than 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior but says he plans to play safety in college. Furr reports early offers from UNC, Wake Forest and NC State but told Pack Pride this past weekend that he is leaning to Clemson. LSU and Tennessee are also involved. If Furr doesn’t commit early he could become one of the state’s most heavily recruited prospects.
CB Terry Shankle...6-0, 170 pounds...South Stanly, Norwood, NC
Notes...Shankle is another versatile skill guy that could potentially play wide receiver or cornerback. He was area of player of the year with 47 catches for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had an amazing 14 interceptions on defense. The Wolfpack jumped into the fray and were reportedly the first to offer with UNC, Wake Forest, Clemson and South Carolina also involved. Look out for the Tigers if they offer.
DT Jared McAdoo...6-3, 285 pounds...Chapel Hill (NC) High School
Notes...Chapel Hill High School hasn’t produced a lot of division one prospects but they certainly will in the class of 2009. McAdoo is one of the state’s top defensive tackle prospects and has landed an early offer from hometown UNC. NC State and Clemson are also involved but this list will likely grow over the coming months. Some feel that the Heels are the early favorite.
OL Travis Bond...6-7, 330 pounds...Bertie High School, Windsor, NC
Notes...Bond will likely be one of North Carolina’s top offensive line prospects for the class of 2009. He boasts early offers NC State, East Carolina and UNC. Bond also played on the defensive line for Bertie, tallying 35 tackles and two sacks. This definitely has the potential to grow into an in-state battle for his commitment.
Jumbo ATH Tyler Shatley...6-3, 250 pounds...East Burke High School, Icard, NC
Notes...Shatley is another player that could take off over the coming months. He has the size and speed to play fullback, tight end or defensive end. Shatley has early offers from NC State and Clemson and plans to major in Engineering. As a junior he rushed for 1,209 yards and 18 touchdowns.
S Perry James...6-0, 170 pounds...Davie County High School, Mocksville, NC
Notes...Not a lot has been said about James thus far, possibly because of a shoulder injury that slowed him in the early part of 2007. However, he boasts good size and speed and could be a player that emerges during the combine and camp circuit this spring and summer. He hasn’t received any offers yet but is being recruited heavily by Notre Dame, LSU, Illinois, UNC, Wake Forest, Georgia, Auburn, Clemson and Nebraska. NC State has not been heavily involved as of yet.