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
NC State’s Final Rivals Football Recruiting Ranking
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.