Coach Doeren and Company take this recruiting stuff seriously, a nice change of pace from the previous staff. Coming off a 3-8 record in 2013, I thought the recruiting scene would be very tough on them. They took that challenge head on and made a huge splash, especially in-state, and pulled in a very impressive class. Rivals ranked it the #35 class in the country (#7 in the ACC) while Scout pegged it at #37 in the country (#5 in the ACC). There’s no denying the significant improvement we have seen in recruiting since Coach Doeren and Company have got here. Hope to see that continue into the future.
We missed a few targets in this class that I really liked, but I’m excited for this #Pack15 group of guys that want to come to NC State and take our football program to new heights. The class is highlighted by five 4-stars that we beat out the likes of powerhouses Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, and Georgia just to name a few. The running back class was tabbed by all recruiting services as a top 5 class in the country. I can’t wait to see these guys suiting up in the red and white.
It’s impossible to know how all these guys will translate to the college game, so I’ll just highlight the ones I’m most excited about. Note: This is my non-expert opinion.
DE Darian Roseboro (#45) … Considered by some to be the top player in the state of NC. Committed to Michigan before changing his pledge to the Wolfpack. A physical 4-star guy who has the body and motor of a future star. It’ll be tough to match Mario Williams’ college career, but he has that kind of potential. He enrolled in Spring 2015 so we should see him make an impact on the field this year.
RB/WR Nyheim Hines (#2) … A do it all 4-star athlete with track speed. Coach Canada has to be salivating with this type of versatile weapon at his disposal. We will see him in the slot, in the backfield, and potentially returning kicks. Needs to bulk up a little, but hopefully he adds that explosive playmaker that our offense has been missing. Reminds me of Tramain Hall, but I think he’ll be even better.
S/WR Freddie Phillips (#3) … I just really like this kid. He was one of the recruits that committed early on, held firm, and recruited other guys to join him. A good athlete with good ball skills that will probably end up at safety. It might take him a year or two to make an impact, but I see him being similar to Terrence Holt if he sticks at safety or Chris Coleman if he ends up at receiver.
RB Reggie Gallaspy (#25) … The least heralded of the incoming running backs, but the one that piled up the gaudiest stats last year as he led the state in rushing. A tough inside runner that can bounce it outside when he needs to. A slimmer, quicker, more competitive version of T.A. McLendon.
RB Johnny Frasier (#22) … A big, fast running back that everybody in the country wanted. Originally committed to Florida State and had Alabama pursuing him very hard. A small town NC boy that frequently gets compared to Georgia’s Todd Gurley because of his background and running style. If he reaches his potential he could go down as one of the best running backs in NC State history.
OT Emanuel McGirt (#74) … A tough, aggressive offensive lineman that plays with a mean streak. Plays with great technique and has a great frame that will continue to fill out. Could be a dominant guy that protects our QB’s blind side for many years. Originally committed to UNC, so it was even sweeter when he switched to the Wolfpack.
DE Emmanuel Olenga (#9) … A late addition to this class, but a very intriguing prospect. He has the athleticism and speed to be a force off the edge, but he will need to bulk up. Has a low floor, but also a high ceiling. Might not pan out, but could be this class’ version of Mike Rose.
DT Quentez Johnson (#99) … Another of the first guys to commit that held firm and recruited other guys into the class. A big physical Georgia kid that needs to slim up a little, but he should be a disruptive guy that clogs up the middle of the line. Offensive linemen will have their hands full with him. Could be one of the steals of the class. Reminds me a little of Thomas Teal.