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Football Recruiting

NC State’s Football Recruiting Momentum is Unprecedented



With the commitment of 4-star Defensive Tackle CJ Clark yesterday, NC State’s 2019 football recruiting class is ranked 15th nationally by 247Sports, & 18th by Rivals. Last year 247Sports ranked the Wolfpack’s 2018 class as the #23 class overall. The two-year stint of recruiting at this high of a level is unprecedented in the history of NC State Football (or at least as far back as the existence of recruiting databases).

Dating back to 2001 (the first year of 247Sports recruiting database. Rivals dates back to 2002), NC State has never recorded back-to-back Top-25 recruting classes in football.

In fact, since 2001, according to 247Sports’ recruiting rankings, NC State only has had 3 Top-25 recruiting classes in total. According to Rivals rankings, the Wolfpack has only had 1 Top-25 recruiting class since 2002.

NC State’s Final 247Sports Football Recruting Ranking

2018: 23rd
2017: 43rd
2016: 59th
2015: 30th
2014: 37th
2013: 62nd
2012: 50th
2011: 71st
2010: 31st
2009: 48th
2008: 23rd
2007: 46th
2006: 48th
2005: 29th
2004: 40th
2003: 17th
2002: 46th
2001: 43rd

NC State’s Final Rivals Football Recruiting Ranking

2018: 34th
2017: 53rd
2016: 43rd
2015: 35th
2014: 30th
2013: 47th
2012: 54th
2011: 86th
2010: 34th
2009: 52nd
2008: 31st
2007: 50th
2006: 51st
2005: 27th
2004: 28th
2003: 7th
2002: 34th

I often see NC State fans on message boards or social media make the same canned response every time the Wolfpack gets a solid recruiting commitment: “We all know recruiting doesn’t matter. Only wins and losses.”

This trope reeks of ignorance.

Yes, of course highly talented players don’t guarantee victories. They still have to go out and play the game. Yes, the coach has to know how to coach the talent he brings in.

But if you don’t think there is a correlation between victories on the field and victories on the recruiting trail, you’re fooling yourself.

Dabo Swinney has reeled in 9 straight Top-25 recruiting classes at Clemson according to 247Sports. Consistent high-level recruiting has been foundational to Clemson’s yearly dominance.

What Dave Doeren and his staff have done for two years in a row now deserves a ton of credit.

Obviously the 2019 recruiting class is far from done, and there obviously is a chance they could slip out of the Top-25, but I don’t see that happening. In fact, I think they could move up. NC State leads for 4-star defensive tackle Joshua Harris. They lead for 4-star Athlete J.R. Walker. They lead for 4-star cornerback Shyheim Battle. NC State has put themselves in a good position with 4-star defensive end Traveon Freshwater, 4-star running back Zonovan Knight and 4-star cornerback Tyus Fields. The Wolfpack is even in the mix for 5-star running back/Linebacker Quavaris Crouch.

Doeren has never worked with this level of talent before. If you look at his early recruiting class rankings, you will realize he has done a great job developing players to become greater than their recruiting ranking.

Now he gets to do the same thing with higher ranked talent.

The future is looking bright for NC State football.

Football Recruiting

NC State Football Recruiting Update – September 20, 2018



NC State Football Recruiting Update – September 20, 2018:


Big Commit

Target JUCO QB Bailey Hockman has committed to State.  He is taking our only 2019 QB spot.

Hockman was a consensus 4* Pro-Style QB in the 2017 class.

He has a very strong arm, very mobile. Good athlete.

Worst case, he provides good quality depth behind Leary and McKay.  We should have a very good stable of highly capable QBs next year once Finley leaves.


Spots Left in 2019



Top 2019 Targets Remaining

4* ATH JR Walker –  Officially visiting State on 9/29
3* LB Kevon Glenn
3* WR Brieon Fuller
3* S Tyler Scott
3* S Myles Farmer
3* WR Zay Flowers
3* ATH Mohamad Toure (can play WR or LB)
3* WR Isaiah Washington
3* S Treron Collins
3* ATH Ja’Quan Sheppard


2019 Targets Off The Board

4* JUCO DE Jacoby Jones committed to Oklahoma.


Current Season Stats for 2019 NC State Commits

4* DT CJ Clark has 36 tackles, including 27 solo, a sack and three quarterback hurries in four games.

3* CB Jalen Frazier has 19 tackles (six solo), including a tackle for loss, and an interception in four games.

3* RB Jamious Griffin has 81 carries for 870 yards and 13 scores on the ground and five receptions for 115 yards and two more touchdowns.

4* DE Savion Jackson has 23 tackles (11 solo), two sacks, a fumble recovery and two blocked kicks in four games.

3* RB Zonovan Knight has 37 carries for 641 yards and nine touchdowns in four games. He’s also returned three kickoffs for an average of 59.0 yards and two scores .

4* S Khalid Martin has 26 tackles (12 solo), including a tackle for loss, one interception, three pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in three games. He’s returned two kickoffs for a total of 57 yards.

3* C Dylan McMahon has 22 tackles (14 solo), including a sack and a tackle for loss, a pass breakup and three quarterback hurries in three games.

3* OT Triston Miller has five tackles (two solo), including two tackles for loss in four games.

3* LB Jaylon Scott has 28 tackles (10 solo), including four tackles for loss and a sack, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a blocked punt in five games.

3* LB Drake Thomas has 47 tackles (21 solo), a forced fumble and an interception (pick six), and has rushed 13 times for 108 yards and five scores in five games.

3* TE Chris Toudle has five receptions for 85 yards and eight rushes for 34 yards and a touchdown in 3 games.


Great New Recruiting Graphic:

Jamious Griffin’s Game 4 Highlight Film

Predictions for a Jump

I think if Drake Thomas and Jamious Griffin continue to post as big of numbers as they are currently doing throughout this season, they will both easily be 4* recruits at the end of the cycle.

I think Jamious Griffin is vastly underrated because he plays in a super talent rich area of Georgia on one of the state’s best teams.

Drake Thomas has been overshadowed but some overrated players, but he is just a flat out great football player who is a headhunter and a difference maker on defense.


Big Recruiting Weekends Coming Up

The West Virginia game was shaping up to be a huge weekend for recruiting, but Florence had other plans.

Looks like Florida State on 11/3 and Wake Forest on Thursday, 11/8 are going to be our biggest recruiting events we have left.

The weekend of 11/8 also coincides with home basketball at PNC for us.

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Football Recruiting

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



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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Football Recruiting

NC State 2019 Football Commits Week 4 Report



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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Football Recruiting

FSU QB Transfer Bailey Hockman Took Official Visit to NC State



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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