Class of 2008 Review: Defensive Tackles

Pack Pride reviews how NC State fared at recruiting the defensive tackle spot for the class of 2008.

Defensive Tackle


- Marty Everett...6-4, 300 pounds...South Sumter High School...Bushnell, Fla

- Kyle Linney...6-3, 300 pounds...Hargrave Military Academy...Taylorsville, NC

- Thomas Locust...6-3, 325 pounds...Cerritos Community College...Riviera Beach, Fla

- Leroy Burgess...6-1, 300 pounds...Georgia Military College...Columbia, SC

How important was this spot in relation to other positions: Critical...

Did the Pack meet their needs based on sheer numbers: A

The Pack missed on: Scott Vallone, Chris Palmer

How many may the Pack target for the class of 2009: 2-3

Based on NC State’s signing day haul of defensive tackles, it was clear that the Wolfpack coaches were targeting players that could impact the team in the very near term. For the most part State recruited only players with post-high school experience . This was important because each of these players are a little more mature both mentally and physically and give the Pack coaches the option to test a couple of current defensive tackles on the offensive side of the ball.

Kyle Linney was a carry over commitment from the Chuck Amato regime but Tom O’Brien wasted no time in shoring Linney up with the Wolfpack once he became coach late in 2006. Linney would sign with the Pack in 2007 but needed this past year at Hargrave to get his SAT score up. Once that was accomplished, he was able to enroll at State this past January and get a jumpstart on his career with the Wolfpack.

Physically, Linney looks like a younger version of future teammate Leroy Burgess. He has impressive natural strength and could really make some big gains in the weight room after spending time in Todd Rice’s strength and conditioning program.

Most impressive with Linney is his relentless style of play and non-stop motor. He does a great job of running plays down from the backside and is extremely active for a defensive tackle. With the opportunity to enroll early and participate in spring practice, Linney will be a player to watch for potential playing time in 2008.

One player that will almost surely see major playing time next season is Leroy Burgess. On film, he may have been one of NC State’s top five prospects in the class of 2008. In person, Burgess is built like a tank. He may not have prototypical height but Burgess is exactly what NC State is looking for in their defensive tackles.

The three-star DT has tremendous lower body strength which will put him in a position to clog running lanes and occupy offensive linemen. Outside of that, he has surprisingly quick feet and runs well- much better than one would think given his build.

On the recruiting side, Burgess was one of the Pack’s more highly recruited signees. The ace for State was their proximity to Columbia, SC, Burgess’ hometown. With everything else being equal, the fact that Burgess would be able to play in front of his family was a major consideration that eventually swung the pendulum in NC State’s favor last December. When all was said and done, Burgess turned down Ole Miss, Kansas State and Oklahoma State in favor of the Pack.

The final prospect to commit to NC State in the class of 2008 was Marty Everett. The cousin of former Pack commit Carlos Everett, Marty was a virtual unknown to NC State fans for most of the 2008 recruiting season. He had received heavy attention from several SEC schools earlier in the process. However, when some of those schools began to fade, the Pack upped their interest level once Everett made some strides on the academic side.

Everett made his commitment to State while on his official visit and with that, the Pack closed out recruiting for the class of 2008.

The only high school defensive tackle in this class, Everett fits the 300+ pound mold that O’Brien’s staff seems to target at this position and like the other signees, gives State another hole-plugging player. On film he doesn’t appear to be quite as mobile as Linney or Burgess but his build and ability at the point of attack will mesh well with the Pack’s defensive philosophy.

It should be noted that Everett will have some work to do in the classroom so there’s a possibility he could spend a couple of years at junior college before suiting up for NC State.

Thomas Locust was a highly-acclaimed offensive lineman in Florida circles when he graduated from high school a few years back. After transferring from Florida A&M to Cerritos, Locust made the switch to defensive tackle and his work there caught the eye of the NC State coaching staff.

Although lightly recruited in 2007 by other schools, the Pack coaches obviously liked what they saw and after arriving for his official visit to State, Locust received a firm Wolfpack offer and he wasted not time in accepting.

Watching Locust on film, it was very surprising that more schools weren’t hot on his trail. He’s another big body right in line with the other three defensive tackle commitments although a little stouter than the others. Again, Locust moves extremely well given his size. He gets out in space and pursues with vigor to the ball. With Ted Larsen and John Bedics getting a look on the offensive line, Locust will have every opportunity to earn minutes at defensive tackle in 2008.

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