The Wolfpacker

March 2013 - Signing Day Edition

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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2013 football recruiting issue I By Ryan Tice t has become almost an annual tradition ��� a college football coach takes a job in North Carolina and proclaims at his introductory press conference that his first priority is to keep the state���s top talent home. Nobody can claim that the area doesn���t produce gridiron talent ��� the state ranked 10th in the country in 2013 with 73 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) signees. Furthermore, on a percentage basis, it churned out Division I players at the same rate as Texas, one of the top two talent-producing states in the country. One in every 485 North Carolina prep players inked FBS scholarship papers on National Signing Day this year. that they produce.��� Any class that has included at least three of North Carolina���s top 10 players have been ranked at least 34th in���s national rankings, with an average ranking of No. 17.8 in the land. That is why building relationships with in-state coaches was one of the staff���s major priorities as soon as they took the job, even if it didn���t pay immediate dividends in the class of 2013. ���There was a good reception [in North Carolina],��� Nielsen noted. ���I think a lot of the success we had at Northern Illinois really helped us. When you graduate 90 percent of your players, win two straight [conference] championships and play in a BCS game, that���s pretty good.��� Keeping The Talent Home The Major Focus In Recruiting Under Dave Doeren Will Be To Land The Best In-State Players Yet, NC State has landed just three of the state���s top 10 players since 2010 and 13 such prospects since 2003, which is as far back as the database goes with the final state rankings. North Carolina has locked up 28 such athletes during that same time period, while Clemson has signed 13, South Carolina 12, and Florida, Georgia and Notre Dame six each. Don���t expect that trend to continue with NC State���s new staff of energetic go-getters, who are intent on building a championship program with a nucleus of the state���s top prospects. The ACC���s youngest head coach, 41-year-old Dave Doeren is backed by a staff of nine assistants whose average age is just 37.1, including seven who are 36 or younger. The group���s youthful exuberance has already made an impression on several North Carolina prospects. ���Our focus here will be to keep the top players in state,��� recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen said. ���You can recruit North Carolina, in my opinion, and have a great class, one of the top-10 recruiting classes in the country if all of those guys come to one place. The football here is fantastic. ���This is a great football state. I���m very encouraged about this state and the players Only one of the 11 prep commits that the new coaches secured after taking the job in Raleigh hails from North Carolina, but part of that was already having prior relationships in other parts of the country, and taking advantage of those in places such as Florida (seven prep signees and two transfers) and Michigan (two prep signees ranked among the state���s top 15 prospects). ���When you���re working on a short window like we were, you���ve got to go to where your relationships are because you can���t just walk into a place not knowing anybody and think you���re going to get a kid,��� Doeren admitted. ���I recruited Florida for seven years as a position coach, so I had a lot of ties down there and I relied on those. ���Coach [Richard] McNutt and Coach Nielsen had been down there a lot for me at Northern. Coach [Dave] Huxtable worked at Central Florida for a long time and had a lot of ties down there, as well.��� During his National Signing Day press conference, the coach said much of that February day, for him and his staff, was spent working the phones and talking to the top targets for the class of 2014. ���Our relationship will be 12 months, and we���re starting those relationships with In addition to focusing on the state of North Carolina, Doeren wants to add players that have helped lead their teams to the playoffs and been competitors on squads that win games. photo by larry blankenship sophomores, as well,��� Doeren noted. ���It will be a lot different [from the 2013 class]; they���ll know me, they���ll know my kids, they���ll know my wife, they���ll know everybody on our campus. ���We look forward to selling it for 12 months instead of six weeks.��� In addition to ramping up the in-state efforts on the recruiting trail, the Pack will zero in on players who were on successful teams at the prep level, and that trend was clearly evident in the new staff���s first haul of signees. ���We wanted to build this class with win- 32��� ������ the wolfpacker 32-33.Doeren Recruiting Approach.indd 32 2/26/13 1:17 PM

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