The Wolfpacker

September 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 41 of 95

42 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER M ainstream college football media does not typically pay much attention to re- cruiting apart from signing days and the occasional high-profile commitment. Fans following the developments typically resort to web- sites like for coverage. But what has been happening in the state of North Carolina's 2019 class has caught widespread attention. The Greensboro News & Record devoted two-thirds of its July 22 sports section front page to the subject, with a headline of "NC State's Recruiting Is [two fire emojis]" and a subhead of "Dave Do- eren and his staff having a bonanza recruit- ing year with in-state prospects." After that article ran, NC State added to its collection by landing a pledge from four-star cornerback Shyheim Battle of Rocky Mount High and three-star defensive end Terrell Dawkins from Cox Mill High in Concord. Battle, who picked the Wolfpack over Clem- son, gave NC State four of the top 10 pros- pects in the state according to East Carolina was the only other in-state program with one, after they landed No. 5 Traveon Freshwater Aug. 6 — and only two of the top 10 were uncommitted at that point. The Pack also had seven of the top 25, 11 of the top 35 and 15 of the top 50. The trio of Wake Forest, Duke and North Carolina had combined for three of the top 25, four of the top 35 and seven of the top 50. UNC's sole contribution to that group is the No. 49 prospect in the state. NC State landed 16 players from June 1 to Dawkins' pledge Aug. 2, the vast major- ity of them (13) hailing from within the state's borders. Sammy Batten of The Fayetteville Ob- server, who has been following and cover- ing football recruiting in the state for over 20 years, was taken aback by the quickness and the combination of quality and quantity that came together for NCSU. "I don't know if I have ever seen that kind of activity by any school, particularly in our state," Batten said. "Those things stick out to me with how impressive they have done it with the competition and how quickly." It begs the obvious question: how is Do- eren and his staff doing it? Batten has his own thoughts on the question. "They are obviously the hot team right now," Batten said. "North Carolina and RED AND WHITE WAVE NC State Owns In-State Recruiting In The Class Of 2019 NC State's in-state recruiting momentum has taken off, thanks to the efforts of (from left to right) defensive linemen C.J. Clark, linebacker Drake Thomas, defensive end Savion Jackson, safety Khalid Martin and running back Zonovan Knight, among others. PHOTO BY JACEY ZEMBAL

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