2008 record: 6-7
Atlantic record: 4-4
Overall class ranking: 10, ACC; 51, overall
In-state recruits: 5
Average stars: 2.74
Five-star recruits: None
Four-star recruits: Jarvis Byrd
Class prize: Byrd is a very physical cornerback who hits like a safety
Mike Farrell, analyst for rivals.com says:
"I think State will be a little disappointed in being ranked behind Duke, but Tom O’Brien has a history of finding overachievers and players who are better than other people thought. On the surface, this doesn’t look like the best class. But I imagine this class has plenty of surprises. The State staff knows more than we know.”
N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien says:
"We're best at bringing in players that we can develop. There's certainly a lot of very, very good players here, but there's a lot of kids we like a lot of things about, especially on the line. They have abilities one way or another that we think we can coach them into being, as I said a couple years ago, we don't care what they come in as. But they'd better leave as five-star guys.”
"It goes back to the days when I was at Virginia and Coach (George) Welsh always wanted to get into the Atlanta area and into Georgia because of the preponderance of good football players in that area. We were able to go there to find a lot of good players. It hasn't changed. Our goal still is to start here in the state to fulfill our needs. And when we can't do that, we have to go elsewhere."
"As we saw (quarterback Everett Proctor) this summer, what he is, he's a bigger, what he is, is a bigger, maybe faster and better arm than Russell Wilson. Stronger arm. So he's a raw athlete that we see a tremendous amount of potential in."
"It (ranking by recruiting analysts) is important because a lot of people pay attention to it. But that's never been one thing that's been of great importance to us. If we like a guy, we like a guy. I don't care whether you like him or not."
N.C. State recruiting class with rivals.com ranking from five star down to one star. *Committed but has not signed.
★★★ Morgan Alexander • Cartersville, Ga. • 5-11 • 180
Versatile athlete rushed for 1,400 yards as a junior. His numbers dipped as a senior because he also played wide receiver and cornerback. He may play defensive back for the Wolfpack.
★★★ Brandan Bishop • Boca Raton, Fla. • 6-1 • 200
Made 108 tackles with five interceptions as a senior. Though he’s projected as a safety, he also caught 45 passes for 600 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior season.
★★★★ Jarvis Byrd • Pahokee, Fla. • 5-11 • 180 Made 60 tackles with 15 passes broken up, three sacks and three blocked punts in his senior season.
★★ Darryl Cato-Bishop • Groton, Mass. • 6-4 • 250 Rated the No. 5 overall recruit in Massachusetts by rivals.com. Though he’s enrolling on a football scholarship, there’s a chance he will walk on to the basketball team.
★★★ Tyson Chandler • N. Plainfield, N.J. • 6-6 • 340 Huge lineman said N.C. State will start him out on defense but may move him to offense later. He’s the 17th-rated prospect in New Jersey according to rivals.com.
★★★ Ryan Cheek • Lancaster, Ohio • 6-0 • 230 Made 66 tackles with two sacks as a senior and also played running back and quarterback.
★★★ Duran Christophe • Woodstock, Ga. • 6-6 • 285
Helped team win seven in a row before a one-point playoff loss to eventual state champion Camden. Could add a lot of weight and still be effective.
★★ Donald Coleman • Princeton, N.J. • 6-0 • 207 As a safety and running back, he rushed for 803 yards and seven touchdowns while forcing five fumbles and making 74 tackles. Has enrolled early and N.C. State.
★★★ Sylvester Crawford • Charlotte • 6-4 • 225 Elite pass rusher played for former Carolina Panther Brentson Buckner in high school and made 22 sacks as a senior.
★★★ Rickey Dowdy • High Point • 6-2 • 225 Perhaps N.C. State’s best in-state recruit, Dowdy made 105 tackles with 17 sacks and two interceptions as a senior.
★★ A.J. Ferguson • Southport • 6-3 • 250
Four-year starter made 90 tackles, including 20 behind the line of scrimmage, during his senior season. Ran the 100 and 200 meters for his track team.
★★★ Denzelle Good • Gaffney, S.C. • 6-6 • 325
Rated the No. 5 overall prospect in South Carolina, Good was impressive during Shrine Bowl practices. Though he played tackle in the Shrine Bowl, he might be a guard at N.C. State.
★★ Dean Haynes • Tunnel Hill, Ga. • 5-11 • 178 Versatile athlete rushed for 878 yards and 18 touchdowns and passed for 782 yards and three scores as a senior, playing both quarterback and running back.
★★★ Sam Jones • Fuquay-Varina • 6-7 • 295
Originally signed with N.C. State in 2008, but spent the fall semester at Hargrave Military Academy. Former Fuquay-Varina High standout has enrolled at N.C. State for the spring semester.
★★★ Nathan Mageo • Samoa • 6-4 • 280
JUCO transfer from New Mexico Military Institute is enrolled at N.C. State. He made 12 tackles for loss as a sophomore and could provide immediate help.
★★★ Quinton Payton • Anderson, S.C. • 6-4 • 190 Played quarterback for some of his senior season, when he passed for 284 yards, rushed for 288 and caught 23 passes for 359 yards.
★★★ Everett Proctor • Fayetteville • 6-2 • 200 Dual-threat quarterback rushed for 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns, and passed for 1,100 yards and eight scores as a senior.
★★★ Raynard Randolph • Brandywine, Md. • 6-2 • 320
Four-year varsity starter was rated the 16th-best prospect in Maryland by rivals.com. As a senior, he made 68 tackles and four sacks.
★★★ Hans Rice • Eufaula, Ala. • 6-3 • 205 Speedy defender could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme or safety in a 4-3 scheme. Rated the nation’s 25th-best weak side linebacker by scout.com.
★★★ Deion Roberson • Tucker, Ga. • 6-3 • 275 Suffered a season-ending ankle disolcation in his senior-season opener. Made 12 tackles for loss in his junior season.
★★★ Brian Slay • Ashburn, Va. • 6-3 • 290 Suffered a season-ending ankle disolcation in his senior-season opener. Made 12 tackles for loss in his junior season.
★★ Rashard Smith • Dublin, Ga. • 5-11 • 175 Was state Class 2-A defensive player of the year as a junior and senior. Passed for 1,300 yards, rushed for 997, returned two punts and one kickoff for scores and intercepted 10 passes as a senior.
★★ Anthony Talbert • Cincinnati • 6-4 • 230
Known for his superior blocking in a rushing-based offense, Talbert has posted incredible numbers in the weight room. He has dead-lifted 705 pounds.
★★★ Bryan Underwood • Cleveland Heights, Ohio • 5-9 • 182
Small but extremely speedy player could help the Wolfpack as a slot receiver and kickoff/punt returner.
★★ Chris Ward • Fayetteville, Ga. • 6-1 • 175 Possible replacement for 2008 senior Bradley Pierson won the best punter award with an average punt of 42.7 yards and average hang time of 4.17 seconds at the prestigious Southern Kicking Invitational contest.
★★★ James Washington • Orlando, Fla. • 6-0 • 180 Rushed for 1,579 yards as a senior and more than1,700 as a junior. Led his team to the 6-A state semifinals as a senior and has enrolled early at N.C. State.
★★ Asa Watson • Rock Hill, S.C. • 6-4 • 225 Brother of New England Patriots (and former Duke) tight end Benjamin Watson was used mostly as a blocker in high school, but N.C. State’s coaches have plans to use him in a variety of ways as a receiver because of his excellent athletic ability.
★★★ Camden Wentz • Marietta, Ga. • 6-3 • 290 Outstanding student has a 3.9 grade-point average and was committed to Stanford from March through October until deciding California was too far from home.