After an impressive haul of in-state talent with the class of 2008, NC State is already hard at work identifying the top talent for ‘09. One player they've taken a keen interest in is DE Ricky Dowdy from High Point Central High School. He was recently invited up for an unofficial visit and it appears the Pack has emerged as a major player for his commitment.
As a junior, Dowdy registered an impressive 74 tackles and 13 tackles for loss en route to all-conference honors. Pack Pride recently spoke to High Point Central head coach Wayne Jones about his standout defender.
"Ricky's 6-3, about 215 pounds," said Jones. "He's a play-maker for us. He was our leader in sacks this year with 13 sacks and third leading tackler. He's one of those guys that he makes things happen for us on Friday night. If he's playing well then we're usually playing well on defense. He plays defensive end for us and he's played some outside linebacker so he's one of those versatile kids that runs really well. Because of that, you can move him around. He could play any outside linebacker spot but the coaches at State like him down at defensive end. They like his speed off the ball and, because of that, they offered him a scholarship."
Still very early in the recruiting process, coach Jones said he's only had the opportunity to send film to a couple of other schools. However, it didn't take long for the NC State coaching staff to decide that they wanted to be the first school to jump on the Dowdy bandwagon.
"I've talked to the coaches at Carolina," said Jones. "I sent them film and they called back and were responsive. I also sent some film this past week to Clemson. They asked for some film on him. Last year was his first year starting varsity and he had a good year for us.
"State evaluated the film that I sent them. I sent his highlights and then they called and wanted to know if anybody had offered because they wanted to be the first school to offer him. I told them that at that particular time no one had gotten back with me besides the people at Carolina so they made an offer at that point right then."
The fact that State offered Dowdy actually came as a result of the Pack seeking information on another Central player. Just by chance, Dowdy's name was mentioned by another school employee and interestingly, that coincided with the Pack receiving film on Dowdy the same week.
"I talked to the defensive back's coach at State, coach Reed," said Jones. "He is the one recruiting Ricky. So coach Reed actually came by asking about another kid at the school named Jerry Sims. He was a basketball player here that we listed as a football prospect and he could be a good football prospect. So the reason he came originally was to see Jerry. One of the principals mentioned to him about Ricky and he hadn't heard about him but lo and behold, I had just sent them film that particular week so he got a chance to look at it."
As for the Pack, Dowdy apparently loved his visit to NC State and it appears they may be the early team to beat for his commitment.
"I think he's going to be one of those that wants to go ahead and commit because he likes NC State," said Jones. "He has said he wanted to go there and he was there for junior day."