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NC State Football Recruiting Update – 3/10/18

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Football Recruiting Update – March 10, 2018:

Spring Game is expected to bring a huge amount of marquee recruits to Carter-Finley.

Spring Game will be Saturday, April 7th at 1 pm.

 

We have been named as the school to beat for quite a few marquee prospects at this point in their recruitment.  These include 4* ATH JR Walker, 3* DE Christian Rorie, 3* LB Drake Thomas, 3* CB Shyheim Battle, 3* TE Kyle Bilodeau, 3* OL Jamari Williams, 4* LB Traveon Freshwater, and 3* OT Carter Colquitt.

 

Interesting to note, Traveon Freshwater and JR Walker are high school teammates and might be a package deal in college.  Freshwater was one of the national leaders in sacks last year (27), despite being 6’1″, 220.  He definitely projects to an OLB type college prospect due to his speed and tackling ability.  Walker probably projects best as a safety in college or a nickel.  However, Walker has the athleticism that he could legitimately play special teams immediately as a kick returner or punt returner.

 

Look for Freshwater and Walker to both visit State for the Spring Game on April 7th.  It sounds like both might graduate from high school early and might commit to their chosen school before their senior season starts.

 

2019 Prospects Who Are Off the Board:

4* RB Zonovan Knight from Southern Nash HS (NC).  He committed to Duke.

4* QB Ty Evans from Palmer Ridge HS (CO). He committed to Colorado.

3* RB Marcus Crawley from Trinity Christian Academy (FL).  He committed to Miami.

3* WR Donovan Greene from Mount Airy HS (NC).  He committed to Duke.

3* WR Elijah Bowick from Myers Park HS (NC).  He committed to Virginia Tech.

3* WR Nolan Groulx from Hough HS (NC).  He committed to Wisconsin.

3* WR Seneca Milledge from Dunbar HS (FL).  He committed to Virginia.  (Was formally committed to us).

3* OG Jacob Monk from Holders HS (NC).  He committed to Duke.

3* LB Charles Thomas from IMG Academy (FL).  He committed to Michigan.

3* LB Samuel Brooks from Northwestern HS (FL). He committed to Miami.

3* CB Isaiah Kemp from Hoggard HS (NC). He committed to Duke.

3* CB Tony Davis from Huss HS (NC).  He committed to Duke.

3* CB Jayden Curry from IMG Academy (FL). He committed to UNC.

3* CB Major Williams from Dunbar HS (FL). He committed to Virginia.

 

A new feature for the 2019 cycle…

 

Starting with this update, I will provide an in-depth analysis of a position of need for the 2019 class (with the goal of getting all positions and prospects looked at over the course of the bi-weekly column between now and August).

 

QB Battle:

At this point, it appears that our QB recruiting in the 2019 class is centered around three prospects. 4* Sam Howell, from Sun Valley HS (NC), 3* Ryan Hilinski from Orange Lutheran HS (CA), and 3* Kenneth Jefferson from North Panola HS (MS).

 

Highlights of Howell:

 

Highlights of Hilinski:

 

Highlights of Jefferson:

 

Statistical Breakdown from Junior Season:

 

Passing:

Howell – 225 of 382 for 3,372 yards.  36 Touchdowns with 11 Interceptions

Hilinski – 294 of 421 for 3,749 yards.  33 Touchdowns with 6 Interceptions

Jefferson – 150 of 236 for 3,028 yards.  36 Touchdowns with 3 Interceptions

 

Rushing:

Howell – 230 carries for 1,594 yards.  24 Touchdowns.

Hilinksi – 87 carries for 80 yards.  6 Touchdowns.

Jefferson – 139 carries for 1,325 yards.  8 Touchdowns.

 

Rankings:

Howell – 4* on 24/7 sports and Scout (#4 Pro-Style QB), 4* on Rivals (#5 Pro-Style QB), 3* on ESPN (#7 Pro-Style QB)

 

Hilinski – 3* on 24/7 sports and Scout (#12 Pro-Style QB), 3* on Rivals (#11 Pro-Style QB), NR on ESPN

 

Jefferson – 3* on 24/7 sports and Scout (#21 Pro-Style QB), NR on ESPN, NR on Rivals.

 

Size:

Howell – 6’1″, 217.

Hilinski – 6’3″, 218.

Jefferson – 6’4″, 205.

 

My analysis:

Hilinski is the more prototypical pocket passing QB out of the bunch, more compared to Ryan Finley. He can get yardage on the ground if everything breaks down in pass protection.  I could be wrong, but I think he is trying to get out of the mantra of following his brother’s footsteps on the West Coast. He has toured a lot of schools in the South in the last few weeks, including South Carolina, State, Clemson, and others.

 

Howell is the highest rated QB prospect out of the bunch.  However, he is being asked to do a whole lot for his HS (60 touchdowns his junior year).  His size worries me with this heavy of a workload in high school. He is not nearly as accurate downfield as Jefferson or Hilinski are, but he is very athletic and very dangerous with the ball in the open field. Recent predictions have him committing to Clemson sooner rather than later.

 

Jefferson is the rising star out of the bunch and is a dynamic athlete who plays in the middle of nowhere in Mississippi but is suddenly getting a huge amount of offers (offered by Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State).  Interesting to note that we offered him before his home state schools.  He has visited State recently.

Football Recruiting

PI EXCLUSIVE: NC State RB Commit Zonovan Knight Talks Fast Start

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NC State 2019 Running Back Commit Zonovan Knight is off to a blazing start through the first three games of his Senior season at Southern Nash. He is averaging 160.3 yards per game, and an absurd 17.3 yards per carry. Knight has 9 rushing touchdowns, and a kickoff and punt returned for touchdowns to go along with them.

We caught up with Knight, and he gave us his perspective on his fast start.

Thoughts on performance thus far in 2018…

“I think my performance has been pretty good, but it hasn’t be my best. I feel like I haven’t shown everybody what I’m truly capable of.”

On which game has been his best thus far…

“My best game so far this year would be our game last week against West Johnston. (Knight had 292 All-Purpose Yards against West Johnston: 154 rushing, 9 receiving, 86 kickoff, 43 punt, and 4 total touchdowns.)”

Do you take pride in your role as a kick returner?

“I definitely take pride in my role as a returner. I want to be able to return punts & kicks when I get to State.”

On his goals for his Senior Season…

“My personal goal is it become my schools all-time leading rusher. Ultimately, I want to lead my school to a State championship.”

Why he chose NC State…

“Just watching the way they used Nyheim in their offense is what intrigued me the most.”

His thoughts on NC State’s success recruiting North Carolina…

“I think everybody knows that NC State is dominating the state of NC in recruiting, so I don’t think there’s much I can add on that topic.”

———

Want to talk about Zonovan Knight or discuss how NC State might rotate their RBs next season? We’re discussing it right here on our Wolfpack Football Message Board. (Join Now: It’s 100% free!)

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NC State 2019 Football Commits Week 4 Report

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This past weekend marked the fourth week of high school football. Here’s a breakdown of how NC State’s 2019 commits did.

4-Star Defensive End Savion Jackson and the Clayton Comets (3-1) demolished the Harnett Central Trojans 56-0. Jackson had 2 tackles and a fumble recovery in the contest. Through 4 games, Jackson has 23 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 blocked field goals, and 1 fumble recovery.

4-Star Defensive Tackle CJ Clark and the North Stanly (2-1) Comets beat the Providence Day Chargers 29-14. Clark had 5 tackles and 3 quarterback hurries. Through 3 games, Clark has 28 tackles.

4-Star Defensive Tackle Joshua Harris and the Person Rockets took down the Halifax County Comets 14-7 to improve to 2-2. It was Harris’ best game of the season by far.

4-Star Safety Khalid Martin (4-0) and the East Forsyth Eagles ruined the Carver Yellow Jackets 60-0. Martin had 1 tackle, and returned a punt for a touchdown. Through 4 games, Martin has 26 tackles, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 forced fumble.

3-Star Running Back Zonovan Knight and the Southern Nash Firebirds (4-0) trounced the West Johnston Wildcats 67-14. Knight averaged 51.3 yards per carry. That’s not a typo. Knight carried the ball 3 times for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also returned 2 kickoffs for a total of 96 yards, and 1 punt for 43 yards. Through 4 games, has rushed for 641 yards (17.3 yards per carry) and 9 touchdowns.

Here are Knight’s highlights through the first 3 games.

3-Star Running Back Jamious Griffin and the Rome Wolves handled the Kell Longhorns 35-6 to improve to 3-0. Griffin rushed for 235 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also had 74 yards receiving and a touchdown. Through 3 games, Griffin has rushed for 584 yards and 12 touchdowns (2 receiving).

3-Star Linebacker Drake Thomas and the Heritage Huskies (3-1) beat the Sanderson Spartans 28-12. Thomas had 10 tackles, and has had double-digit tackles in 3 out of 4 games. He also had 3 rushes for 49 yards and 2 touchdowns. Through 4 games, Thomas has 41 tackles, and 4 touchdowns.

Below are Thomas’ highlights from the game. Just go to the 17 second mark. I dare you. Thomas nearly rips the Sanderson quarterback in half.

(Warning: There is explicit language in the video.)

3-Star Offensive Guard Timothy McKay and the Wakefield Wolverines lost to the Fuquay-Varina Bengals 14-27, falling to 1-3 on the year.

3-Star Linebacker Jaylon Scott and the Shelby Golden Lions fell to the Crest Chargers 6-27, losing their 3rd straight game. Scott had 5 tackles, and has 22 through 4 games.

3-Star Offensive Guard Ikem Ekwonu and the Providence Day Chargers (0-3) still haven’t won in 2018, falling to North Stanly 14-29 this weekend.

3-Star Offensive Tackle Triston Miller and the Charlotte Country Day Buccaneers (2-2) stomped the Wake Christian Academy Bulldogs 44-7.

3-Star Defensive End Terrell Dawkins and the Cox Mill Chargers (3-1) convincingly beat the South Iredell Vikings 28-7.

3-Star Wide Receiver Keyon Lesane and the Butler Bulldogs (1-2) fell to the Richmond Raiders 30-19. Lesane was suspended from the game due to being ejected the week before for picking up 2 personal foul. Through 2 games Lesane has 9 carries for 89 yards with 1 TD, four catches for 162 yards with 2 TDs; one interception on defense.

3-Star Wide Receiver Chris Toudle and the Hoggard Vikings (2-1) couldn’t get it done in Week 4, losing to the Carolina Forest Panthers 35-42. Toudle had 3 receptions for 67 yards, and 7 carries for 23 yards and a touchdown. In 2 games of play, Toudle has 5 receptions for 85 yards, and 8 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown.

3-Star Safety Jakeen Harris and the Benedictine Cadets (1-1) lost to the Blessed Trinity Cadets 38-7. Harris had 12 tackles and 1 pass breakup. Through 2 games, Harris has 27 tackles, 2 pass breakups and 1 forced fumble.

3-Star Offensive Lineman Zovon Lindsay and the Trinity Christian Crusaders remained undefeated (4-0), running over the Sandhills Titans 46-13. Through 4 games, Lindsay has 11 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack on the defensive side of the ball.

3-Star Tight End Kam Walker and the Pisgah Bears are still undefeated (4-0), taking down the Central Hilltoppers 35-13.

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FSU QB Transfer Bailey Hockman Took Official Visit to NC State

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Quarterback Bailey Hockman (6’2″/206) announced that he was transferring from Florida State on August 31st, and he has officially transferred to Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Hockman was at the NC State vs. Georgia State yesterday on an official visit, and has been in Raleigh since Thursday. He chose to take his first official visit to NC State after leaving Tallahassee.

Hockman, was a 4-star prospect that was a member of the Seminoles 2017 recruiting class. ESPN ranked him as the #180 overall player in the class and the #11 pro-style quarterback. Hockman originally committed to Georgia back in June of 2015, but decommitted in December of that year after Mark Richt was fired.

Ultimately, Hockman chose the Seminoles over a very impressive offer sheet, that included, Alabama, Michigan, Louisville, Miami, Michigan St., South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and others.

Hockman ended up redshirting his Freshman year at Florida St., losing out to James Blackman to take over the reigns for the injured Deondre Francois in 2017.

Now that he has transferred, he will be able to enroll in the college of his choice in January, and have 3 years to play 3 seasons.

NC State will have 2 scholarship quarterbacks in 2019: Matt McKay, who will be a Redshirt Sophomore, and Devin Leary, who will most likely be a Redshirt Freshman. The Wolfpack haven’t been able to add a quarterback to their 2019 recruiting class, striking out on the likes of Sam Howell (FSU) and Michael Johnson Jr. (Penn St), and they also missed on Cord Sandberg (Auburn).

If Hockman were to land at NC State, there would be a heated battle for the starting job heading into the 2019 season.

Here are Hockman’s Senior Season Highlights at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia.

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Football Recruiting

Will 5-Star Quavaris Crouch be at NC State Today?

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Rumors are swirling that 2019 5-Star RB/LB Quavaris Crouch will be taking an unofficial visit to NC State to see his brother Malik Dunlap (Freshman Safety).

Crouch announced his Top-5 schools on August 30th, and NC State was not one of them (South Carolina, Southern Cal, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, Clemson, and Florida State). Regardless, it would be great to see Crouch in Raleigh for the White Out. Maybe the Wolfpack aren’t out of it yet.

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