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NC State Visits With 4-Star CB Taiyon Palmer



According to Steve Williams of 247Sports, NC State’s Desmond Kitchings and George Barlow were in yesterday to visit 4-Star 2018 Cornerback Taiyon Palmer, who used to be a Duke commit.

Palmer has recently picked up two major offers in Notre Dame and Clemson. He is taking an Official Visit to Nebraska this weekend and will take his official visit to NC State next weekend.

The fact that NC State visited with Palmer the day he hopped on a plane to go to Nebraska shows how much they want him.

Football Recruiting

NC State Football Recruiting Update – October 18, 2018



NC State Football Recruiting Update – October 18, 2018


New offer:

3* Dual-Threat QB Payton Thorne from Illinois.  I broke down his film on the recruiting forum earlier this week.  A very intriguing prospect who is putting up huge numbers and has enormous playmaking ability coupled with great athleticism.

More on Thorne:

Junior Season Stats (At Napierville Central HS, his current school): 403 yards rushing with 5 TDs, 2,305 yards passing with 25 TDs and 6 Interceptions.

Sophomore Season Stats (At Matea Valley HS): Passing – 94-155 for 1,325 yards with 14 TDs and 7 Interceptions, 48 carries for 160 yards with 2 Touchdowns

His father is the head football coach at North Central College.

Thorne appears to be a great kid, as evidenced by this article.

A good quote about Thorne from a teammate: “He’s a great leader. He puts the ball where you need it and all we’ve got to do is run under it.”

Another good article about Thorne from Prep Analyst Tom Lemming.

He verbally committed to Western Michigan on July 3, 2018 – reportedly to join former teammate WR Jayden Reed at WMU, who is currently a freshman.

Another interesting quote from Thorne’s dad regarding the process of recruiting college football players (courtesy of Naperville Magazine):

“That’s true in most sports. North Central College football coach Jeff Thorne has an interesting perspective, in that he recruits athletes and is the parent of a star football player  His son Payton was the quarterback who took Naperville Central to the state quarterfinals last fall as a junior.

“That’s a great question: Who can you trust? Because you don’t have to look very far to see coaches leaving institutions after a year for a better job,” Jeff says. “I’m not suggesting it is wrong for anybody to look for a better job. The problem is the athletes are the ones who are stuck holding the bag.

“So many kids, whether society likes it or not, are choosing institutions in large part because of the coaches—not so much the academics—and they kind of have that backward. Especially at the smaller school level, you’ve got to make sure you’re finding the right fit academically, and then make sure the other ducks fall in a row as far as liking the coaching staff and the athletic program.”

Payton has six Division I offers so far, including one from Western Michigan, and he wants to make his decision by the fall. He says it’s gratifying to feel wanted.

“I got my first letter freshman year,” Payton says. “Being recruited is definitely something that feels good. You know you’ve worked to get to that point, so being recruited is what a lot of people like.”


Season Stats for Current Commits (Updated from last week):

4* DE Savion Jackson – 51 tackles, including 19 for loss and five sacks

4* DT CJ Clark – 73 tackles and eight sacks.

4* DT Joshua Harris – 42 tackles, including nine tackles for loss and five sacks, and a forced fumble

4* S Khalid Martin – 48 tackles, including one for loss, three pass breakups, an interception, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, a 73-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and 27-yard touchdown reception.

3* RB Zonovan Knight – 54 carries for 830 yards (15.4 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns, two receptions for28 yards and a touchdown, 219 kickoff return yards and a touchdown and 43-yard punt return for a score.

3* RB Jamious Griffin – 140 carries for 1,695 yards rushing (12 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns and seven receptions for 145 yards and two scores.

3* LB Drake Thomas – 69 tackles, three sacks, two pass breakups, one interception, which he returned for a touchdown, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. 15 carries for 116 yards and five touchdowns on offense.

3* LB Jaylon Scott – 49 tackles, including 11 for loss and two sacks sack, a pass breakup, forced fumble, two blocked punts.

3* C Dylan McMahon – 34 knockdown blocks on offense and 47 tackles, including six for loss, a sack,  and a forced fumble on defense

3* CB Jalen Frazier – 28 tackles, one for loss, a pass breakup and an interception

3* WR Keyon Lesane – 26 carries for 171 yards and two touchdowns and 19 receptions and three touchdowns in five games.

3* TE Chris Toudle – 7 receptions for 105 yards and 14 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown.

3* OL Zovan Lindsay –  18 pancake blocks on offense. Defensively, 15 tackles, including six for loss, two sacks and a safety.

3* S Jakeen Harris – 42 tackles, a pass breakup, forced fumble, a fumble recovery, which he return for a score, and three interceptions on defense and two catches for 60 yards and eight touchdowns on offense.

4* CB Shyheim Battle – 27 tackles, including on for loss, three interceptions, three pass breakups, three receptions for 44 yards, a two-point conversion catch and 5 kick returns for 175 yards.

3* OG Ikem Ekwonu – 19 knockdown blocks on offense and 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks on defense.

3* DE Terrell Dawkins –  7 tackles, including four for loss and a sack, and a forced fumble.

3* OT Triston Miller – 20 knockdown blocks on offense and 13 tackles and three sacks on defense.


Departures from Team:

Since my last update, RB Nakia Robinson and TE Damien Darden have both decided to leave the team.

Darden greatly had his playing time cut when Angeline got eligibility and Robinson was the 4th string running back.

This frees up two offensive scholarships for the 2019 cycle, if our coaches wish to use them.  One could be for another QB to build depth and one could be for another offensive playmaker (WR? – Possibly Isaiah Washington, Breion Fuller, Ja’Quan Shepherd, Mohammad Toure)


Injury News:

RB Trent Pennix appears to be fighting some kind of leg injury and has not played in several weeks due to the emergence of Ricky Person Jr.

Most rumors have him possibly redshirting this season. If he indeed redshirts, we would not be taking another RB in this class.


Newest Recruiting Graphics: 

Tyler McIntire and his crew continue to amaze with recruiting graphics.


Several examples:


Quanvaris Crouch Update:

Crouch plans to attend our game this weekend at Clemson and will be taking an official visit to Clemson sometime in November.

In my opinion, his recruitment is far from over, but I think he is looking at Clemson and several other schools a lot more than he is State, but this weekend could open his eyes more.

He has been at State at least one time this season for an unofficial visit also.


Targets Off The Board:

Target 3* DT Ben Smiley committed to UVA.

Target 4* S JR Walker committed to Virginia Tech (coincidentally his last visit, albeit an unofficial visit before he decided his college destination).






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Football Recruiting

Will 4-Star ATH JR Walker Choose NC State at Noon?



4-Star 2019 Athlete JR Walker will be announcing his college decision at Noon today, and all signs point to the Clayton standout choosing NC State.

Five of the experts over at 247Sports made their Crystal Ball projection of where Walker would land, and all 5 of them picked NC State. That includes Steve Wiltfong, the National Director of Recruiting for 247Sports, who has made 1,849 Crystal Ball predictions, and been right 89% of the time.

Walker has a Top-5 of NC State, South Carolina, UNC, Virginia Tech and Duke that he announced back in May. He took official visits to all the schools in his Top-5 with the exception of Duke. The Wolfpack offered Walker a scholarship back on December 5th, 2016. Walker has stated on numerous occasions since March that NC State was his leader.

That hasn’t stopped the other schools in his Top-5 from pursuing him with vigor, especially South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Walker’s last official visit was to Blacksburg, Virginia last weekend.

247Sports ranks Walker as the #173 overall player in the 2019 class, the #9 athlete, and #6 player in the state of North Carolina. He’s teammates with 4-Star Defensive End Savion Jackson at Clayton High School, who is the highest rated player in the Wolfpack’s 2019 recruiting class.

If Walker chooses to run with the Pack at Noon, #Pack19 will have six 4-star commitments.

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Football Recruiting

NC State 2019 Football Commits Week 8 Report



This past weekend marked the 8th week of high school football. Before Week 9 arrives, here’s a breakdown of how NC State’s 2019 commits did last week.

4-Star Defensive End Savion Jackson had a monster performance in Clayton’s (6-1) 26-14 victory over South Johnston. He tallied 11 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, and 1 blocked field goal. The Comets have won 6 straight games, and Jackson has 51 tackles and 4.5 sacks through 7 games.

4-Star Defensive Tackle CJ Clark had 5 tackles in North Stanly’s 55-0 destruction of South Davidson. The Comets have won 3 straight, and are 5-2 on the year. During their 3-game winning streak, they have outscored their opponents 172-6. Clark has 57 tackles on the year.

4-Star Defensive Tackle Joshua Harris and the Person Rockets (2-5) lost their 3rd straight game, falling to Western Alamance 3-20.

4-Star Cornerback Shyheim Battle had 8 tackles (1 for loss) in Rocky Mount’s 49-20 victory over Frankinlinton, improving to 5-0 on the year.

4-Star Safety Khalid Martin had 7 tackles in East Forsyth’s 16-10 victory over rival West Forsyth, improving their record to 7-0 in 2018. He has 48 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 pass breakups in 7 games.

3-Star Running Back Zonovan Knight rushed the ball 17 times for 189 yards and 1 touchdown in Southern Nash’s 63-41 victory over Fike, improving their record to 5-0 on the year. He also had a 19-yard touchdown reception. Knight has 830 yards rushing through 5 games (166 yards per game/15.4 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns.

3-Star Running Back Jamious Griffin had a record breaking performance in Rome’s 62-24 victory over East Paulding, improving to 7-0. Griffin had 339 yards on 24 carries and 2 touchdowns. Through 7 games, Griffin has 1,497 yards rushing (214 yards per game/11.3 yards per carry) and 20 touchdowns. He also has 7 receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Griffin is 1 of 10 players on MaxPreps National Player of the Year Watchlist

3-Star Linebacker Drake Thomas had 12 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 safety in Heritage’s 57-0 victory over Corinth Holder’s. The Huskies are now 6-1. Through 7 games, Thomas has 69 tackles.

3-Star Offensive Guard Timothy McKay and his Wakefield squad lost Rolesvile 7-20, falling to 2-5 on the year.

3-Star Linebacker Jaylon Scott had 8 tackles (1 for loss) in Shelby’s 49-0 victory over Chase. The Golden Lions have now won 3 stragiht, and are now 3-3 on the year. Through 6 games, Scott has 41 tackles (7 for loss).

3-Star Offensive Guard Ikem Ekwonu had 5 tackles and 1 forced fumble in Providence Day’s 63-0 victory over Christ the King. The Chargers have now won 4 straight, and are 4-3 on the year.

3-Star Offensive Tackle Triston Miller had 2 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks in Charlotte Country Day’s 0-42 loss to Charlotte Christian. The Bucs are now 4-3.

3-Star Center Dylan McMahon had 7 tackles ( 1 for loss) and 1 sack in Savannah Christian’s 24-21 victory over Calvary Day. The Raiders are now 5-1, and McMahon has 37 tackles in 6 games.

3-Star Cornerback Jalen Frazier had 2 tackles in Hough’s 55-19 victory over Lake Norman. The Huskies are now 7-0, and Frazier has 28 tackles and 1 interception thus far.

3-Star Defensive End Terrell Dawkins and his Cox Mill crew beat Concord 27-7, improving their record to 5-2 on the year.

3-Star Wide Receiver Keyon Lesane’s Butler Bulldogs beat Myers Park 39-22, improving to 5-2 on the season.

3-Star Wide Receiver Chris Toudle had 2 receptions for 20 yards in Hoggard’s 31-0 victory over West Brunswick. He also had 3 rushes for 23 yards. Hoggard is now 3-1, and Toudle has 7 receptions for 105 yards and 11 rushes for 52 yards and a touchdown through 3 games (missed 1st game due to injury).

3-Star Safety Jakeen Harris had 3 tackles and 1 interception in Benedictine’s 37-12 victory over Windsor Forest. ON the offensive side of the ball, Harris had 8 rushes for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns, as well as 2 receptions for 43 yards. The Knights have now won 4 straight, and are 5-1 on the year. Harris has 36 tackles, 1 interception, 5 rushing touchdowns and 2 touchdown receptions thus far.

3-Star Offensive Lineman Zovon Lindsay had 4 tackles in Trinity Christian’s 54-0 victory over North Raleigh Christian Academy. The Crusaders are now 7-0 on the year.

3-Star Tight End Kam Walker’s Pisgah Bears beat Smoky Mountain 13-8, improving to 6-1 on the year.

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PI EXCLUSIVE: 4-Star WR Josh Downs Talks NC State Visit



4-star 2020 Wide Receiver Josh Downs (5’10″/165) was in Raleigh two weeks ago, and took in the Wolfpack’s 35-21 victory over Virginia. Downs’ father is Gary Downs, who played running back at NC State, and was drafted by the New York Giants in the third round of the 1994 NFL Draft. The stud out of North Gwinnett High School broke down his visit, and the Wolfpack’s recruitment of him.

Thoughts on his visit to NC State…

I was a very good visit. I love the coaches and the game day atmosphere.

On NC State’s recruitment of him…

They have been recruiting me since 9th grade. It’s a strong relationship every time I go there. It’s like the whole staff knows me, so it’s good and they are recruiting hard. I talk to them everyday.

On NC State’s performance vs. the Cavaliers…

They played good.. The offense looked good. They threw the ball a lot, and the defense looked very solid.

What he likes about how the Wolfpack uses their Wide Receivers…

I love how they throw the ball a lot, and use the slot in the offense a lot.

On which schools are recruiting him the hardest…

NC state, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, etc

On any NC State players he has a good bond with…

Kelvin Harmon is my big bro.

On any NC State commits he’s friends with…

Jalen Frazier is a good friend of mine.


Rivals ranks Downs as the #220 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class, the #39 receiver nationally, and the #26 player in the state of Georgia.

Downs not only has a family connection to NC State, but also hails from Georgia, where the Wolfpack has a strong and successful recruiting presence.

He was also watching the game with 4-star Wide Receiver Porter Rooks, who is the #1 player in the state of North Carolina in the 2020 recruiting class.

Downs hinted on Twitter days after their visit that the two standout receivers could be a package deal at the next level.

Downs, as well as Rooks, are two to keep your eye on in 2020.

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