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Linebacker Garrett Hooker made it official today and committed to run with the Wolfpack.  We caught up with him tonight and wanted to get his take on what led him to make this decision.  While Hooker listed a variety of reasons for his commitment, relationships were at the top of his list.

“I knew when I was at camp at State on Thursday that I was going to commit.  It’s all love down there.  It’s fun.  Everyone’s so close,” Hooker said. “I know a lot of the guys that are on the team already.  I know Emanuel Olenga, Nyheim Hines, Woody Cornwell and Reggie Gallaspy.  Reggie is one of my best friends.  In fact, Reggie and Woody and I played pop warner football together as kids.  It feels like family down there.  It feels like home.”

Hooker also said that he wanted to go somewhere close to home so his parents could come and see him play.  When he left NC State on Thursday, he told his mom that he was going to commit.

“There’s nothing more I could want, so I just went ahead and called them, because West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Clemson were all close to offering me, but I have been to all of those schools, and I knew I wanted to go to State, so I just went ahead and pulled it.” said Hooker

This wasn’t the first time that the NC State coaching staff laid their eyes on Hooker.  The coaching staff realized last summer that this kid could hit, but their greatest concern was whether or not he follow a receiver in a pass drop.

“Last year I went to camp at NC State.  They had already watched my film, and they knew that I could play the run, and that I could tackle.  But at last years camp I ran a 5.0 40-yard dash,” Hooker said. “So they didn’t know if I could play in space or pass drops, so they didn’t offer me last year.  But I went to camp this year and ran a 4.76, a 4.3 shuttle and did pretty good in one-on-one drills.  Obviously a lot had changed and they offered me.”

The coaching staff has plans for Hooker to play the “Mike backer” position when he arrives.

Hooker already switched roles from recruit to recruiter before he even committed.  Before he left camp last Thursday, he asked Coach White who he should be going after.

“I’ve already started recruiting.  I knew after I left Raleigh on Thursday that I was going to go to State.  From that point on, Coach White was telling me the guys they are going after like Diondre Overton, Cornell Powell, Dexter Lawrence.  I’ve been hitting them up…I’ve been camping with these guys for years.  I’m going to try to get these guys down to State and do something big down here.  NC State is getting top notch guys…guys like Darian Roseboro.  This program is going up.  We’re trying to win championships down in Raleigh.

 

 

 

 

Matthew is Publisher and Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He is also the Lead Pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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Football Recruiting

NC State Football Has 4 Official Visitors Scheduled for this Weekend

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NC State has 4 2025 football prospects coming in for Official Visits this weekend. Last weekend, the Wolfpack had 11 Official Visitors, and 3 of them committed this week: 3-Star CB RJ Jones, 3-Star WR Jamar Browder & 3-Star CB Caden Gordon.

Here’s a look at this weekends 4 Official Visitors.

4-Star OT Austin Pay 

3-Star OL Andrew Stargel 

3-Star RB RJ Boyd

3-Star LB/EDGE Donovan Darden 

 

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Football Recruiting

3-Star CB Caden Gordon Commits to NC State!

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3-Star 2025 Cornerback Caden Gordon (6’1″/170) has verbally committed to NC State!

Gordon took an Official Visit to Raleigh this past weekend, and ultimately chose to run with the Wolfpack over a Top-5 that also included FSU, USF, Georgia Tech and Illinois.

ON3 ranks Gordon as the #58 overall player in the state of Florida in the 2025 recruiting class.

NC State offered Gordon on January 24th of this year.

Gordon is teammates with 3-Star Wide Receiver Jamar Browder at Santaluces in Lake Worth, Florida, who also committed to NC State after taking an Official Visit to Raleigh this past weekend.

With the commitment of Gordon, NC State has now picked up 3 verbal commitments after their first weekend of Official Visitors (11 total) this past weekend, and all of them were from the Sunshine State. Cornerback RJ Jones committed on Sunday like Browder, and he plays for Vero Beach in Tampa, Florida.

Gordon is the 7th member of the Wolfpack’s 2025 recruiting class, joining 3-Star QB Will Wilson, 3-Star TE Gus Ritchey, 3-Star DE Colby Cronk, 3-Star S Tristan Teasdell, 3-Star WR Jamar Browder, 3-Star CB RJ Jones.

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Football Recruiting

PI EXCLUSIVE: 3-Star DL London Simmons Breaks Down NC State Official Visit

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3-Star 2025 Defensive Lineman London Simmons (6’3″/295) took an Official Visit to NC State this past weekend. I caught up with him to get his thoughts on the experience.

Walk through the visit. What did you do? Where did you go? Who did you meet?

I went to NC State I ate with the coaches and hung out with the players. I met a couple of the players like Red Hibbler.

What was the message from the coaches to you?

That I will get on the field early.

How do you think NC State might be a good fit for you?

At my high school we run the same defense.

What was your favorite part?

Just being around the coaches and players. Getting to know each other and asking the players questions.

Where does NC State stand in your recruitment? What do you like about the Wolfpack?

NC State is up there. It’s a family environment.

Do you have any other visits scheduled?

My next 2 are Alabama and Arkansas.

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ON3 ranks Simmons as the #14 overall player in the state of Mississippi in the 2025 recruiting class.

Last season, Simmons had 78 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 15 sacks for Hartfield Academy in Flowood, Mississippi.

The Wolfpack offered Simmons back on April 30, and he also holds offers from Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Duke and others.

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Football Recruiting

3-Star EDGE/LB Donovan Darden is Taking an Official Visit to NC State this Weekend

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3-Star 2025 EDGE/Linebacker Donovan Darden (6’4″/225) will be taking an Official Visit to NC State this weekend according to a source.

247Sports ranks Darden as the #16 overall player in the state of North Carolina in the 2025 recruiting class, and the #43 EDGE nationally. Rivals and 247 list Darden as an EDGE, while ON3 lists him as a Linebacker.

Darden plays for Havelock High School, and as a Junior last season, he had 46 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 10 QB Hurries.

The Wolfpack recently offered Darden on June 1st after camping at NC State, and he quickly turned around and scheduled an Official Visit. Darden already took an Official Visit to Illinois this past weekend, and will take one with South Carolina the weekend after next. At one point, it was reported that he had Official Visits scheduled to West Virginia and Pitt as well, but if he is taking those, they are no longer scheduled for this weekend.

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