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Former NC State All-ACC OL Joe Sculthorpe…I mean…Hank Walker…Signs WWE NXT Contract

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You might remember Joe Sculthorpe as an All-ACC Offensive Guard (2020). That was the past. What is the present?

Learn his new name…Hank Walker…Professional Wrestler with the WWE.

Wrestling isn’t foreign to Sculthorpe. He was a North Carolina High School Heavyweight Champion out of Topsail High School (Hampstead, NC).

In March of this year, the WWE announced that 14 hopefuls had reported to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and Sculthorpe was 1 of the 14.

On June 8th, WWE trademarked the name “Hank Walker.”

He [Walker] made his in-ring debut with a loss to Von Wagner at the June 11 NXT live event in Largo, then came up short against Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo on the July 1 NXT Level Up episode, took a loss to Giovanni Vinci at the July 9 live event in Orlando, was defeated by Duke Hudson on the July 22 NXT Level Up episode, then failed to defeat Carmelo Hayes at the August 29 live event in Venice. (Link)

Sculthorpe’s (Walker) television debut was against Lorenzo on July 1st.

His next televised match was against Duke Hudson.

Sculthorpe lost his first two televised matches.

For the past couple of weeks, the WWE has had Walker (Sculthorpe) portray a member of the NXT Security Team, building out his story line, in which this security guard develops a beef with Javier Bernal.

All the beef led to a match between Hank Walker the Security Guard and Big Body Javy last night.

The WWE NXT fans have learned to hate Javy over the past 12 months, so the crowd was chanting “We Want Hank” as Bernal entered the ring. Sculthorpe’s persona Walker, walks out to no entrance music, in everyday clothes, to the crowd chanting “Hank…Hank…Hank!”

The commentators describe Walker as a developmental prospect within NXT, where many end up paying their dues serving as security. Walker was supposedly out of his depth against a NXT superstar like Bernal. But to the shock of the announcers, “security guy” Hank Walker (Joe Sculthorpe) won the match.

What followed after the match was legendary wrestler Shawn Michaels, who is now Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative, found Sculthorpe’s persona Walker, and offered him an NXT contract.

It will be exciting to watch Sculthorpe’s WWE NXT journey progress, and we will be along for the ride over here at Pack Insider, keeping you posted.

Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State G Terquavion Smith Earns a Spot on the 2023-23 NBA G-League All-Rookie Team

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Former NC State Guard Terquavion Smith earned a spot on the 2023-24 NBA G-League All-Rookie Team.

Smith averaged 22.3 points, 3.4 assists and 3 rebounds per game for the Delaware Blue Coats. What’s crazy, is that he only started in 3 of the 36 games he played in. With that being said, he averaged 30.7 minutes per game. Smith shot 35.6% from three.

As a 2-way player, Smith also played 16 games for the Philadelphia 76ers, averaging 3.3 points in 5.3 minutes per game. He shot 37.1% from three.

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NC State LB Payton Wilson Visited with the Steelers Yesterday

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Former NC State Linebacker Payton Wilson had a Top-30 visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. Wilson is the first Linebacker the Steelers have brought in.

Wilson has already had Top-30 visits with the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers.

PFF ranks Wilson as the #1 Linebacker in the 2024 Draft, and #26 on their Big Board.

1. LB PAYTON WILSONNC STATE

PFF BIG BOARD RANK: 26

Wilson has the length, movement ability, IQ and tape of a first-round linebacker. What will likely keep him from being drafted on Day 1 is his injury history and age. If healthy, he can be a starting inside linebacker in any defense. (PFF)

Will someone take Wilson in the 1st round? Will he be a 2nd round pick? If he slips past that, that’s just stupid.

 

 

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NC State’s DJ Horne Declares for the NBA Draft

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NC State Guard DJ Horne has officially declared for the 2024 NBA Draft.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by DJ Horne (@djhorne)

Horne is trying to become the first Wolfpack player to be drafted since Dennis Smith Jr. was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 6th pick in the 1st Round.

While Horne might not currently be projected to be drafted, he is trying to change that tune at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament which begins tomorrow.

Horne is a special player, and genuinely possesses the skill set to compete at the next level. Whether he is drafted, or signs a 2-way contract, what he put on tape this year warrants a chance.





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Former NC State Defensive End Savion Jackson is Receiving Interest from NFL Teams

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Former NC State Defensive End Savion Jackson is receiving interest from NFL teams. Thus far, those teams are the Rams, Chargers, 49ers, and Broncos.

Last season as a Senior, Jackson had 40 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks in 12 games for the Wolfpack. His Run Defense grade on PFF was 80.6, ranking 4th on the team.

According to current projections, Jackson projects to be taken on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft, or picked up as an Undrafted Free Agent.

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