Although the ink is barely dry on the letters of intent for the class of 2009, the NC State coaching staff is already off and running with their next recruiting effort.
On Sunday the Pack hosted their second junior day of the year, inviting in many of North Carolina’s top rising senior’s along with a handful of out-of-state prospects. During the event, players are able to tour the facilities, meet with the coaches and get a basic look at the NC State football program. Over the last few years this event has grown in significance with most considering it the unofficial kickoff for the recruiting year.
One of the headliners for the Wolfpack this weekend was Chapel Hill’s all-american OL Robert Crisp. Crisp has been a fixture at numerous NC State events and this was actually his second junior day trip to Raleigh. The Pack has long been considered a major player for Crisp although he boasts scholarship offers from around the nation. He currently denies any favorites but State is believed to be one of the teams to beat for his commitment.
His teammate and best friend, Pete Singer, was also in attendance. The 5-11, 175 pound safety tallied 77 tackles and three interceptions for Chapel Hill last year and he’s one of his team’s most versatile players. South Carolina, Duke, NC State and Georgia are the main players with the Gamecocks and Wolfpack indicating that they may be close to offering. Where Singer ultimately ends up could play a role with Crisp down the road. When asked what would happen if he and Crisp ended up with offers from the same school, Singer told Pack Pride on Sunday, “Me and Rob have decided we want to go to the same school and we’ll talk about it and see what happens and decide from there.”
Northern Guilford High School boasts three of the state’s most highly recruited prospects early on. DE Gabe King, ATH Keenan Allen and DE Chris McCain all made the trip to NC State on Sunday and all three boast early Wolfpack offers.
King literally looks like a man amongst boys. He has a tremendous frame and the look of a big-timer. King could also pass for someone 10 years older. With numerous scholarship offers already in tow, King will likely be a long, drawn out affair with Tennessee and UNC posing two of the greatest challenges.
Allen is a very versatile player who also reports a number of offers. The Pack has actually had him on campus a few times but for now, Alabama looks extremely strong in the early going.
McCain is a long, lean prospect that projects at defensive end down the road. He’ll need to improve his grades but has plenty of time to do so. State is chasing UNC, Clemson and Wake Forest for his commitment.
OL T.J. Leifheit from Hoggard High School in Wilmington has been a fixture at NC State as of late. The junior lineman made a couple of trips to Raleigh last fall, was at State’s first junior day, attended the Virginia game this past Saturday and then spent the night in Raleigh and made it to the Pack’s second junior day on Sunday.
Boasting offers from California to Florida State as well as all of the North Carolina and South Carolina schools, publically Leifheit does not proclaim any favorites. He plans to make a decision in October and enroll in college next January.
DE Alfy Hill from West Brusnwick High School was offered by East Carolina on Friday and the Pack followed suit on Sunday. Hill, an admitted Wolfpack fan, will likely pick up numerous offers before all is said and done. As it stands now, it doesn’t appear he’ll make a decision in the near term.
The Pack also hosted several out of state prospects with DE/TE Zack McCray being one of the best. His recruiting coach, Wolfpack DL coach Keith Willis, has done a fabulous job early on and established State as a serious player. In the early going, McCray is considered by many to be a consensus top 10 player in Virginia for 2010. Some insiders believe Virginia Tech to be the team to beat but don’t count out the Wolfpack in this race.
State is in with another New Jersey defensive end and they hosted Don Bosco Prep standout James Kittredge (6-4, 250 pounds) on Sunday. The Pack, along with Rutgers and Maryland have extended early offers. Rutgers is considered an early front runner although it has to bode well that State was able to convince him to make the trip to Raleigh. Kittredge’s father played for South Carolina so it’s conceivable the Gamecocks could become a player down the road.
Summerville (SC) standout DL Brice Laughlin has attracted a lot of early interest from NC State and he made his first visit to Raleigh on Sunday. If his academics are in order, this is a player that should land numerous offers before all is said and done. The Pack did not offer this weekend but it wouldn’t be surprising if they did down the road. It may very well be a situation where the coaching staff would like to see him in camp but he certainly passes the look test on film. Should the Wolfpack decide to spring for an offer, look for them to become a major player.
The Pack has clearly made Georgia one of their key recruiting areas and they hosted one of that state’s top sleepers this weekend. Synjyn Days (6-1, 185 pounds) lines up at quarterback for Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, Ga. But it’s his athleticism that has piqued the interest of the Wolfpack coaching staff. He has tremendous quicks and the frame to project at a number of positions. State has yet to offer but it is likely they’ll push to get him into camp this summer to better project his position in college. Don’t be surprised to see the Pack ultimately extend an offer at some point.
With junior day now behind them, the recruiting docket is relatively quiet until the start of spring practice. The spring contact and evaluation period will commence in mid-April and run until the end of May. During that time coaches are allowed to be on the road evaluating prospects for any four of the six weeks. They are also allowed one phone call to each prospect during that period.
Stay tuned with Pack Pride as we continue to bring you the latest on NC State recruiting.