The Wolfpacker

November 2019

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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14 ■ THE WOLFPACKER TRACKING THE PACK In Memory: Kelsey Weems (1967-2019) Kelsey Weems, the lightning-fast point guard who was a member of the Wolfpack's most recent Atlantic Coast Conference championship team in 1987, died after a long bout with lung cancer Aug. 20 in Conyers, Ga. He was 51. Weems is perhaps most famous for his defense against North Carolina All-American Kenny Smith in the 1987 ACC championship game in Landover, Md., deny - ing the Tar Heel guard the opportunity to touch the ball after teammate Vinny Del Negro sank a pair of free throws at the end of the game. The victory against the Heels, who had not lost an ACC game all season, gave the Wolfpack its 10th ACC title in league history. It's a feat that has not been re - peated since. "He was the best athlete we had on that team," for- mer teammate Chucky Brown said. "He could have run track if he wanted to. He loved to play basketball and was just really good at getting to the rim." Chris Corchiani, who arrived just after that '87 title and played with Weems for two years, remembered his former teammate as a game-changer. "You could put him in at any point in the game and something positive was going to happen," Corchiani said. "He was easily the fastest player I ever tried to guard at any level. He had two speeds: fast and faster. "He was really just a freak athlete." Brown remembered that Weems didn't have to be coached to put the clamps on Smith in the final play of the '87 title game. He instinctively denied letting the best player on the court touch the ball. "Kelsey did that on his own," Brown said. "The plan was just to keep everybody in front of you, but Kelsey just went after Kenny and didn't let him touch the ball. That was all instinct." The Tar Heels had two shots to win the game and missed both. Neither was taken by Smith. Though undrafted in the NBA, Weems spent nearly a decade playing professionally, primarily in the Continental Basketball Association, where he led the Oklahoma City Calvary in scoring for the 1992-93 sea - son. He also played internationally in Venezuela and Australia. — Tim Peeler PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS Football Recruiting Hits Home Stretch For 2019 Class NC State's football commitment list added one name and lost one in September. It is poised to add more, too. Pledging to NC State was three-star linebacker Devon Betty from St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 6-1, 215-pound Betty is rated by as a three-star recruit, the No. 65 prospect in Florida and the No. 17 weakside defensive end nationally, but the Pack recruited him to play linebacker. Through six games this fall for undefeated and nationally ranked (No. 2 in the USA Today Super 25) St. Thomas Aquinas, Betty had 16 tackles (11 solo). He was offered by NC State in late July and officially visited Sept. 6, the weekend that NCSU hosted Western Carolina. He committed to the Wolfpack at the conclusion of his trip. Florida In- ternational had also offered him this summer. Betty hails from one of the best programs in the country for high school football. Last year alone, 14 seniors from St. Thomas Aquinas signed with a Football Bowl Subdivision school, and all but two of those were with Power Five programs. The subtraction from the class was speedy three- star wide receiver Nate McCollum from Dutchtown High in Hampton, Ga. The two-sport star who is a strong candidate to be selected in next year's MLB Draft is expected to land at Georgia Tech, which has been aggressively pursuing him since late in the summer. Potentially taking McCollum's spot in the recruiting class is local product Joshua Crabtree from Heritage High in Wake Forest, N.C. He was offered in October and days later was in attendance when the Pack defeated Syracuse at Carter-Finley Stadium Oct. 10. Crabtree — who also has offers from Air Force, Army, Liberty and Navy — is from the same Heritage program that has four former players on the Pack's current roster. The 6-3, 185-pounder had 25 receptions for 365 yards and four touchdowns in Heritage's first six games this year. As a junior, he caught 45 passes for 590 yards and five scores. During NC State's summer camp, Crabtree ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds, and at a Nike Camp in Charlotte in the spring, he registered a 34.5-inch vertical leap. NC State has also hosted former Colorado commit and three-star linebacker Jayland Parker from Westside High in Macon, Ga., for an official visit. The 6-2, 215-pounder originally picked Colorado over NC State and Purdue during the summer, but officially visited Raleigh Sept. 20 for the weekend of the Ball State game. Parker could still take official visits to Arizona and Mississippi State before announcing a final decision. He expects to enroll early wher- ever he decides. ranks Parker as the No. 52 prospect in Georgia and the No. 41 out- side linebacker na- tionally in the 2019 class. Through six games this season, he had 25 tackles and an interception that he returned for a touchdown. — Matt Carter ■ Class Of 2020 Commitments Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Jonathan Adorno OL 6-4 300 Rolesville, N.C. (Rolesville) Devon Betty LB 6-1 215 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas) Austin Blaske OL 6-5 270 Bloomingdale, Ga. (South Effingham) Devan Boykin DB 5-11 175 Greensboro, N.C. (Ragsdale) Ben Finley QB 6-2 195 Phoenix (Paradise Valley) Stephen Gosnell WR 6-2 195 Hillsville, Va. (Carroll County) Sean Hill OL 6-3 300 Snellville, Ga. (Brookwood) Ethan Lane OL 6-3 270 Lawrenceville, Ga. (Archer) Patrick Matan OL 6-5 295 Washington, D.C. (Gonzaga) Nehki Meredith DB 5-10 170 Virginia Beach, Va. (Bishop Sullivan) Porter Rooks WR 6-2 180 Charlotte (Myers Park) Jaylen Smith DT 6-4 265 Ahoskie, N.C. (Hertford County) Ezemdi Udoh TE 6-5 225 Fayetteville, N.C. (Terry Sanford) Davin Vann DT 6-2 270 Cary, N.C. (Cary) Aydan White CB 6-2 170 Asheville, N.C. (Christ School) rates Devon Betty of Fort Lau- derdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas — who was recruited by NC State to play linebacker — as a three-star prospect, the No. 65 player in the Sunshine State and the No. 17 weakside defensive end nationally. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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