Dylan Autenrieth committed to NC State back on June 18th this summer. He’s a 3-star Tight End out of Georgia, and he’s already used to playing for the Wolfpack, because NC State and North Paulding share the same mascot. Yesterday, I caught up with Robert Jones, North Paulding’s football coach, to get his take on what it’s been like to coach Dylan Autenrieth.
“Dylan’s a great kid. He’s got all the tools. He’s just one of those kids that happens to have them. He’s 6’4″ and some change, 220lbs, runs great, great hands, works hard, and is a very smart football player. He’s also got around a 4.0 GPA,” said Jones. “He’s got everything you want in a player, and we just don’t have enough of him around here. He’s a big weapon for us, and we’re definitely going to take advantage of that, and get the ball in his hands as much as we can. I’ve been coaching for 30 years, and every 8 or 9 years you get a big ‘ol kid like Dylan that has it all. I’ve had just a few of those.”
The biggest area of improvement that Jones has seen in Autenrieth over the years has been his work in the weight room. The young man hasn’t always weighed 220lbs.
“Three years ago he was a tall and skinny weak kid. He always played basketball and has broken every record at our school,” said Jones. “He’s worked extremely hard in the weight room. He would be a good one to look at a before and after picture over a three-year period.”
Jones said the biggest way that Autenrieth can help his team this season is to stay on the field as much as possible. Even though he would prefer not play him both ways, Autenrieth might end up being too valuable to take off the field.
“He’s just one of those kids that doesn’t really come off of the field. We try to rest our kids as much as we can, but he’s just going to have to be a lasting presence out there. He’s on all of the special teams except kickoff. He just needs to stay on the field, because when he’s out there he’s a threat. He’s in really good shape,” said Jones. “As long as he’s out there we have chance to make plays. We try not to play players both ways, but we may get to game four or five and he’ll be starting at wide receiver and defensive end. We’d hate to have to do that with him, but we saw what he could do at Spring practice at Defensive End , and a lot of colleges realized he could play there too.”
Autenrieth has a frame that could lead him to play at a variety of positions at NC State in the future according to Jones. Skill players don’t typically have his natural frame and ability.
“He’s one of those kids that could easily carry 245-50 pounds on his almost 6’5″ frame. There’s no telling what happens when he gets to NC State,” said Jones. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s a great tight end. It wouldn’t surprise me if he lost 8 pounds and was playing receiver. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he put on 30 pounds and played defensive end. He can do it all.”
Tonight Autenrieth and his North Paulding squad get the season started off on the road against McEachern, who Jones says is the #12 team in the nation.
NC State’s 2024 Class Has the Most 4-Star Commitments in the Dave Doeren Era
With the verbal commitment of 4-Star Linebacker Elijah Groves yesterday, NC State now has Eight 4-Star commitments in their 2024 recruiting class. For context, that’s tied for the most in the Dave Doeren era (2013-2023).
WR Jonathan Paylor (ON3, 247, Rivals, ESPN)
WR Terrell Anderson (ON3, 247, Rivals)
ATH Ronnie Royal (247, ESPN, Rivals)
LB Elijah Groves (ON3 & 247)
CB Asaad Brown (Rivals)
QB Cedrick Bailey (Rivals)
OL Tyler West (ON3)
WR Jimmar Boston (ESPN)
This marks the 4th consecutive recruiting class in which NC State has landed SEVEN 4-Star commitments, and the 6th time it has happened under Dave Doeren.
2024 – 8
2023 – 7
2022 – 7
2021 – 8
2020 – 3
2019 – 7
2018 – 6
2017 – 3
2016 – 2
2015 – 5
2014 – 7
2013 – 2
Now, I’m aware that it’s December, and signing day is approaching, which means all kinds of silly things could happen. There is no guarantee that all 8 of these current Wolfpack commits stay committed. But, that’s no reason to not shine a light on this impressive Wolfpack recruiting class.
4-Star JUCO Defensive Lineman Schedules Official Visit to NC State
NC State offered 4-Star Junior College Defensive Lineman Kemari Copeland (6’3″/285) on October 24th. Copeland played for Iowa Western Community College this past season.
— Kemari Copeland™ (@KemariCopeland) October 24, 2023
The Wolfpack made a good impression with Copeland, making his Top-8 schools on November 2nd.
— Kemari Copeland™ (@KemariCopeland) October 24, 2023
Copeland spent his first 2 seasons at Army, and then transferred to Iowa Western Community College this season, where he had 38 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss.
I confirmed with Copeland that he has scheduled an Official Visit to NC State beginning on December 14th.
Rivals ranks Copeland as the #10 JUCO overall player nationally in the 2023 class. He has 2 years of eligibility remaining.
NC State’s 2024 Recruiting Class Ranks 27th Nationally After Groves Commitment
4-Star Linebacker Elijah Groves just flipped his commitment from Kentucky to NC State, and the Wolfpack’s 2024 recruiting class is now ranked 27th according to ON3.
247Sports and Rivals both rank the class 28th currently.
According to ON3, NC State’s class is now ranked 5th in the ACC.
NC State Lands a Commitment from 4-Star LB Elijah Groves!
NC State just picked up a massive commitment from 4-Star 2024 Linebacker Elijah Groves (6’4″/215), who decommitted from Kentucky yesterday.
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Before committing to Kentucky on July 1st, NC State was in Groves’ Top-3 along with Purdue and the Wildcats. NC State never stopped recruiting Groves, despite his verbal commitment to Kentucky.
Groves took Official Visits to Purdue and Raleigh this Summer.
247Sports ranks Groves as the #130 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, the #12 Linebacker, and the #2 player in the state of Tennessee. As a Senior, Groves finished with 76 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.
Groves is now the 21st member of the Wolfpack’s 2024 recruiting class, and the highest ranked player in the class according to 247Sports.
To say the least…HUGE!