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NC State Football Recruiting Update – July 12, 2018



NC State Football Recruiting Update – July 12, 2018

What a few weeks it has been for our Pack Football staff and recruiting coordinators!
Since my last column, the following commitments have rolled in:

Long Snapper Joe Shimko
Defensive Tackle CJ Clark
Offensive Tackle Triston Miller
Defensive Tackle Joshua Harris
Safety Khalid Martin
Running Back Zonovan Knight


Individual Breakdowns:

Joe Shimko – Rated the #5 Long-Snapper in the country by guru Chris Rubio and by, rated the #3 long-snapper in the country by 24/7 sports and Scout.  Unlike most prospects, Rubio has stated “Shimko gets stronger as he gets tired.” This is a very good sign for us because he will be expected to contribute immediately for us because Griffiths is graduating this year.  Shimko is the only recruit we have gotten to commit in the last 3 weeks from out of state (New Jersey).

Good video of Shimko via Chris Rubio this summer:

Analysis:  A great pickup by our coaches, which was found at our Specialist Camp this summer.  I think he projects to be better than Drew Little.  He will have to start immediately for us.  He will need to add some weight in the next year or so, but he is a very solid pickup at a very underestimated position of need for us.


CJ Clark – Rated the #10 Defensive Tackle in the country (4*) by Rivals, the #19 Defensive Tackle in the country (4*) by 24/7 sports and Scout and the #2 overall Defensive Tackle in North Carolina.  His commitment came out of the blue to some sorts because we don’t usually recruit well in the Stanly County area, and because his teammate, LS Drew Little, decommitted from us and went to the Cheats this summer.  Do not underestimate his talent.  CJ Clark has the body, frame, and technique to be a dominant Defensive Tackle for us.  Probably a little less athleticism than Alim McNeill, but perhaps more disruptive in the running game and can be a dominant pass rusher.

A few videos of Clark:

Analysis:  Clark is a load up front.  Several times he split double teams and easily shrugged off cut blocks to still disrupt the backfield.  He will need to get stronger and quicker, which he will be able to do in strength and conditioning during a redshirt year, but he has the ability, size, and athleticism to be a hole plugger in the defensive line. Simply put, he will be very, very difficult to run against, especially once he gets stronger and gets better coaching on technique.  Excellent pickup at a position of need for us.


Triston Miller – Rated the #65 Offensive Tackle in the country (3*) by Rivals, 24/7 sports, and Scout.  Rated the #1 Offensive Tackle in the State of North Carolina by all services.  Miller was not seriously playing football until the last few years (he was concentrating on basketball).  Extremely good athleticism and good footwork for a guy his size (6’6″, 275).

Analysis: I have included some sophomore year footage of Miller to show how much he has improved and how physical he is at the point of attack.  Miller likes to get after it and is very, very physical in the trenches.  He projects probably best at Right Tackle for us.  He uses his size a little too much to dominate at the high school level and needs to play with his pad level lower at times to keep leverage, all of which will be coach corrections once he arrives in Raleigh.  As has been mentioned by several analysts, he will probably take a year or two to develop, but has the athleticism, footwork, and nasty streak to be a very good tackle for us.  Also, he helps us to crack open future recruiting at Charlotte Country Day, which has several stars in the waiting in the 2020 class.


Joshua Harris – Rated the #7 Defensive Tackle in the country (4*) by Rivals, and the #16 Defensive Tackle in the country (4*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, rated the #1 Defensive Tackle in North Carolina by all three services.  Rated the #4 overall prospect in North Carolina by Rivals.  Things for Harris really started to trend our way when we picked up Savion Jackson earlier in the summer.  Harris appeared at State’s camps three straight days in June (13th, 15th, and 16th).

Analysis: A very, very good pickup for State.  I would compare his size, ability to disrupt, and overall mean streak to infamous miss, Dexter Lawrence, from Clemson.  Harris will probably need to redshirt to get a little stronger at the point of attack and sometimes relies too much on his size to bring down ball carriers instead of solid technique.  Harris has a huge amount of potential and will be an all-ACC type player for us after a redshirt year.  Unlike Clark, Harris is disruptive as a pass rusher and as a run stopper.  Harris might have the ability to also play on the edge for us in passing situations because of his speed off the snap and ability to generate chaos in the backfield.


Khalid Martin – Rated the #49 Safety in the country (3*) by Rivals, and the #23 Safety in the country (4*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, and the #2 Safety in t   We closed on Martin very quickly over the last few months and probably would not have gotten him to commit without picking up several other local recruits who he has a good relationship with (Thomas, Clark, Harris, etc).

Analysis: Very, very athletic prospect.  Martin is a ball hawk and loves to hit.  He can get beat deep some, but makes up for it with his ability to fight for the ball and high point it to disrupt the catch.  He will need to work on his overall top end speed and opening his hips quicker so he doesn’t get beat often.  He does well when coming up for run support and reads plays well from his safety position.  Recent interview stated that he was told that he will play strong safety for us.  He will probably redshirt and add 15-20 pounds of muscle to his frame.  I think he is very underrated by Rivals, and his ranking will continue to improve over his senior season.  If he can gain weight, he could play immediately on special teams due to his ability to track the ball and make plays in the open field.  Committed to State over Virginia Tech, said family was a big part of his decision to stay in state (his brother plays Wide Receiver at NC Central).


Zonovan Knight – Rated the #27 Running Back in the country (3*) by Rivals, and the #30 Running Back in the country (3*) by 24/7 sports and Scout, also rated the #1 Running Back in the State of North Carolina.  He was rated as high as the #10 Running Back in the country (4*) by Rivals earlier this summer.  Previously committed to Duke, which I think he was pressured into (they had like 4 commits the same day) on an unofficial visit, at least two of which have decommitted.

Analysis: Knight is a very good running back prospect who very nicely compliments the running style of current commit Jamious Griffin.  Griffin is more of a power type back and Knight is more of a “blow by you” kind of back, I would compare them to Gallaspy and Hines.  Knight probably does not have the overall top end speed of Hines, but is most certainly fast enough to be a homerun threat in the running game and also as a receiver (if I had to guess, probably 4.5-4.55 40 time).  Knight plays in a triple option type offensive scheme, and a lot of his tape shows him running around the edge and outrunning defenders.  If he can develop an ability to run between the tackles and gain some weight/muscle, he will be another All-ACC type running back for us.  He needs to learn how to play with lower pad level to be able to break more tackles, but his high school does not ask him to do a lot of running between the tackles, so this will definitely be able to be coached and developed by State’s staff.  Knight is athletic enough and makes enough plays in the open field that he could challenge for playing time immediately as a kick returner (if we don’t find one before he enrolls).


What’s Left?

Decisions on the Horizon – 

October 13th – 4* Safety/Athlete JR Walker

December 15th – 4* CB Shyheim Battle


Known Targets Still On the Board – 

3* JUCO DE Jacoby Jones – Visited several weeks ago, had a great visit, Rated the #1 JUCO DE in the country

4* ATH/S JR Walker – State leads a lot, transferring to Clayton HS this year (Savion Jackson’s school)

4* CB Shyheim Battle – Waiting Game?  Not sure if he will have a spot if he truly waits until December

4* CB Tyus Fields – Known Academic Problems, Does Not Have Prototypical Size for a CB which Barlow likes

3* LB Traveon Freshwater – Known Substantial Academic Problems, will probably go JUCO unless something majorly changes

4* DE Terrell Dawkins – We made his top 3 schools

3* DT Ben Smiley – Backup option if one of our current D-Line prospects doesn’t pan out (Jones, Dawkins)

4* QB Michael Johnson – Probably headed to Penn State

3* LB Kevon Glenn

3* S Myles Farmer – We made his top 5 schools

5* RB/ATH Quavaris Crouch – He visited this summer, brother plays for State, recruitment has been eerily quiet so far.


Potential Flips?

Keep an eye on these “homegrown” recruits for potential flips, which could greatly impact our class:

4* CB Tony Davis – Currently committed to Duke, been committed to Duke since 12/9/17

3* CB Isaiah Kemp – Currently committed to Duke, attends same HS as current State commit WR/TE Chris Toudle

4* QB Sam Howell – Currently committed to Florida State (they might be recruiting a higher rated QB instead of just taking him)








Football Recruiting

RIVALS: NC State has the 5th Best 1-2 RB Punch in the 2019 Recruiting Class



Rivals ranked which teams they thought brought in the best 1-2 punch at running back in the 2019 recruiting class, and NC State’s combination of Zonovan Knight (4-Star) and Jordan Houston (3-Star) ranked 5th nationally.

The skinny: Knight was a big in-state commitment for the Wolfpack during the summer, while Houston was a late addition to the class after flipping from Maryland in late January. Together they should provide NC State’s offense with plenty of firepower in the coming years.

Farrell’s take: Knight is a slasher with good speed who has the ability to be a three-down back and Houston is an excellent receiver who runs good routes. This could be a duo that helps take NC State to the next level offensively in the ACC. (Rivals)

Penn State, Alabama, LSU and Stanford were ranked ahead of the Wolfpack in that order.

Zonovan Knight rushed for 2,054 yards and 26 touchdowns for Southern Nash this year, averaging a gaudy 16.5 yards per carry. He also picked up a touchdown reception, and took two punts and one kickoff to the house. Rivals ranked him as the #13 player in the state of North Carolina, and the #21 running back nationally. Knight was originally a Duke commit.

Jordan Houston rushed for 1,582 yards (12.4 yards per carry) and 20 touchdowns for Flint Hill High School (Oakton, VA) this past season. Rivals ranks him as the #18 player in the state of Virginia, and the 8th best all-purpose back in the 2019 class. Houston was originally a Maryland commit.

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Football Recruiting

4-Star DE Jacolbe Cowan Includes NC State in Top-12



4-Star 2020 Defensive End Jacolbe Cowan (6’5″/270) revealed his Top-12 schools on Thursday, and NC State made the cut along with Alabama, Clemson, UNC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

ESPN ranks Cowan as the #23 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class, and 247Sports ranks him as the #2 player in the state of North Carolina. He plays for Providence Day in Charlotte, and was teammates with incoming Freshman OL Ikem Ekwonu and 2020 Wolfpack commit WR Porter Rooks.

Cowan unofficially visited NC State for their game against Virginia this past season.

Sophomore Highlights (Couldn’t find Junior Highlights anywhere)

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Football Recruiting

NC State’s 2019 Football Recruiting Class is the Best Since 2005 According to Rivals



National Signing Day was Wednesday, and the 2019 football recruiting class is a wrap.

What NC State head coach Dave Doeren and his staff did putting together the 2019 class is extremely impressive.

I already posed earlier today that the Wolfpack has reeled in Top-30 recruiting classes in 247Sports rankings for the 1st time ever.

Now I want to point out the fact that this recruiting class ranks 28th nationally according to Rivals, which is the highest ranked NC State class in their database since 2005!

The Wolfpack’s 2019 recruiting class is tied for their 3rd best class since 2002 according to Rivals.

NC State’s Final Rivals Football Recruiting Ranking

2019: 28th
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

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Football Recruiting

NC State Reels in Back-to-Back Top-30 Football Recruiting Classes for 1st Time Ever



National Signing Day has come and gone, and NC State’s 2019 football recruiting class is complete.

The Wolfpack’s recruiting momentum has no signs of slowing down, compiling the #26 recruiting class nationally according to 247Sports.

For perspective, in the history of the 247Sports database, NC State has NEVER reeled in back-to-back Top-30 recruiting classes, dating back to 2001.

This years haul is the 4th highest rated class since 2001 according to 247Sports, and last years class was the 3rd best.

NC State’s Final 247Sports Football Recruiting Ranking

2019: 26th
2018: 24th
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

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