As the recruiting year progresses, prospects drop off the board and new names surface on a weekly basis. Pack Pride breaks down five prospects who have yet to earn an offer from NC State but have the potential to become major targets for the Wolfpack at some point over the next six months. Each of these players has impressed with their junior film or during workouts conducted over the summer and have listed the Pack as a team of interest.
Chapel Hill (NC) linebacker Steven Moore was a player that impressed us with his physical presence when we first saw him at the Apex Shrine Bowl combine held earlier this year. He measured in at 6-0, 224 pounds and ran a respectable 4.71-second 40-yard dash. However, it was at NC State’s football camp later in the spring when Moore’s ability became evident.
Lined up primarily as a defensive end as a junior, Moore’s ability to play against the run was established. The question mark came when you projected him at linebacker and whether he had the speed to make plays out in space. This was where Moore stood out when working out for the Wolfpack coaches. In addition to performing the linebacker drills flawlessly, Moore made play after play in pass coverage against smaller and quicker receivers. He showed quick feet, good lateral movement and the ability to consistently make plays on the ball- including a couple of interceptions.
At this point, Moore’s division one future may hinge on his ability to improve his academic standing over the next few months. One source indicated that Moore would probably have an offer from the Pack now if his grades were in order. Should that become the case between now and signing day, a pledge from NC State is a definite possibility and given Moore’s fondness for the Pack, a quick commit isn’t out of the question.
One of the players that really jumped out when watching film was cornerback Dale Peterman from Ursuline High School (Youngstown, Oh). At 5-11, 176 pounds Peterman has good size for the corner position and his skill set would appear to be a solid match with what NC State is looking to do on defense.
In addition to his ball-hawking skills, Peterman really excels in run support and seems to thrive on delivering big hits. This would seem to make him a natural fit for zone coverage which is the direction the Wolfpack defense seems to be trending.
Peterman reports offers from South Carolina and Wisconsin in addition to several MAC schools. He nearly committed to the Gamecocks during the early spring but held off and in an interview with Pack Pride declared that he was open. Peterman seemed fond of OL coach Don Horton and a Wolfpack offer could certainly establish State as a team to watch.
Asa Watson appears to be a major target for NC State at the tight end position but should they miss on the South Carolina standout, Archbishop Hoban’s Brian Slack would be a very solid alternative.
Slack was one of the most impressive tight ends in attendance at NC State’s camp over the summer. At 6-5, 225 pounds he’ll obviously need time before he’s ready to compete as a blocker in the run game although he appears to have the frame to add bulk down the road.
However, it was in the passing game where Slack really showed his talents. While his route running and fluidity were good, it was Slack’s pass-catching ability that jumped out. He showed a nice pair of hands who could make the easy catches look routine but also the ability to make more difficult catches. Slack has decent speed for a tight end and while still a work in progress to make contributions at a high level D-1 school, has the potential to shine down the road.
With mostly MAC offers under his belt for now, Slack told Pack Pride that NC State and Michigan State were two teams he was really hoping to land an offer from. However, he set timeline to announce before the start of his senior and recently committed to Miami (OH). It's worth pointing out that should NC State eventually offer they may be able to become a player.
Of all the players from North Carolina that we’ve scouted this year, Hakeem Vinson may have been the one that boasted the most impressive combination of size and quickness. Earlier in the year he measured 6-3, 233 pounds and was timed at 4.53-seconds in the 40-yard dash.
The fact that must be pointed out is that Vinson is just scratching the surface of what he could potentially become. That upside also makes him a very interesting prospect to say the least. At this point Vinson relies mostly on his size, strength and quickness to blow by offensive linemen. While working out at NC State’s football camp and then again at Virginia Tech, Vinson wowed the coaches in attendance with his natural ability to get after the quarterback.
The biggest hindrance for Vinson right now is in the class room. He has a bunch of work to do and some have indicated junior college as a likely destination after high school. Vinson has indicated on numerous occasions that NC State is his top school but whether the Pack will offer is unknown currently. The Pack could try to sign and place him if he ultimately doesn’t qualify. Or, they could assist in placing him at a prep school or junior college without actually signing him. Whatever the case, Vinson is a big-time talent that will definitely be worth watching over the coming months.
There haven’t been a large number of safety prospects on the board this year but should NC State decide to take one, Myers Park standout Tyree Simpson could be a player to get a long look.
Simpson is very well-developed physically and at 6-0, 202 pounds certainly looked the part of a division one prospect at the Shrine combine held in Apex. In addition to a 4.57-second 40-yard dash, Simpson also had a solid pro shuttle of 4.47-seconds and a 32.8-inch vertical jump.
With 40 tackles and four interceptions as a junior, Simpson’s numbers weren’t earth-shattering. As such, it could be that college coaches will be looking for more out of a player that presents so impressive physically. Simpson may also be looked at somewhat of a ‘tweener between safety and outside linebacker. Injured while at UNC’s camp, disappointingly, Simpson did not make it to NC State’s camp in June. That means it’s very likely the Wolfpack coaches will want to see more of Simpson in September and October. Should they decide to pursue with an offer, Simpson has already indicated a fondness for NC State. He currently boasts offers from East Carolina, Western Carolina and Ball State.