Pack Pride Recruiting Board: Defensive End

Pack Pride breaks down the early prospects on NC State's defensive end recruiting board.

Pack Pride will take a periodic look at how NC State may recruit the various positions for the class of 2010 and the prospects that are currently mentioning the Pack as one of their top schools. The following should be considered a rough guide only as many factors will affect the actual numbers at each position between now and signing day next year. All information contained in this article is the opinion of the staff at Pack Pride and should not be confused as being information from the coaching staff at NC State. It is also based on information known at the current time. Several aspects of this listing will certainly change as the recruiting season progresses.

Defensive End

Key losses...Willie Young, Shea McKeen

Pack is likely to sign...2-3

Number signed at this position over the last two years...4

How important is this spot in relationship to other positions...Critical

This is an important year for NC State at the defensive end position. While the Pack has signed four DE’s over the past two seasons, one (Shea McKeen) will leave after the 2009 season while another (A.J. Ferguson) could very well end up at defensive tackle. This means that NC State has to target several ends for the class of 2010. The good news is State’s board is stocked fairly well with numerous, talented players seriously considering the Pack.

Pack Prides Dream Recruiting Class at DE....Alfy Hill, Fre’Shad Hunter, Zack McCray

On the board and listing the Pack:

Alfy Hill...NC State was the first to offer but it didn’t take long for Hill to become one of North Carolina’s most heavily recruited players. He has made several trips to Raleigh to check out the Wolfpack and State has done a very good job of recruiting him. There have been conflicting reports of a pending commitment with UNC and State out front. It would appear that the Heels may hold a slight advantage so a delay in his decision may be to the Pack’s advantage.

Fre’Shad Hunter...The Pack has been on Hunter from the beginning and that loyalty has helped establish State as Hunter’s clear favorite. Through the process, he has landed offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Florida State, LSU and South Carolina in addition to the Wolfpack. Location and familiarity have clearly played in State’s favor and he appears to be the Pack’s to lose at this point. He doesn’t plan to make a decision for quite some time although a commitment sometime over the summer shouldn’t be ruled out.

Zack McCray...McCray has emerged as one of the east coast’s top defensive end prospects with offers on the table from schools like NC State, LSU, UNC, Virginia Tech and UCLA. McCray visited for the Pack’s junior day earlier this year and appeared to be a major player at the time. LSU is another team that has been mentioned prominently although distance could play a factor. Currently, Virginia Tech and UNC may pose the biggest threat for his commitment. The Wolfpack will need to get him back on campus this summer and continue to build on the relationship he’s forged with defensive line coach Keith Willis.

Brandon Burrows...State hosted Burrows for an unofficial visit and that trip has helped the Pack stay on his favorite’s list for weeks. He currently names Georgia, NC State, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tennessee as his top schools. Realistically, in-state Georgia may prove tough to beat. However, there are reports that Burrows injured his knee recently and may miss his senior season. If that proves correct, it will be interesting to see which programs decide to stay with him headed into the home stretch of recruiting.

James Kittredge...Kittredge visited NC State for junior day several weeks ago and seemed to enjoy the trip. However, he’s also visited numerous other schools and appears very open in the process currently although some have hinted that Rutgers could prove to be a major factor with him. Kittredge currently holds offers from NC State, Duke, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Virginia among others. For the Wolfpack, landing an official visit would likely be the next step as it will probably be difficult to get him back down over the summer.

Kareem Martin...Martin has emerged during the spring evaluation period and now holds offers from NC State, UNC, Duke, Clemson, Louisville, Maryland, Stanford, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and East Carolina. He is a tremendous student and academics are going to play a large role in his decision. Martin told Pack Pride just a couple of weeks ago that Duke, Virginia and Virginia Tech reside at the top of his list. State just recently offered and it appears that the Pack should get a visit over the summer. That trip will be important for their chances headed down the stretch as he will likely commit before the start of his senior season.

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